Fifth of Northern Ireland shop units lie empty

Closed shops in Ballymoney town centre, Co Antrim.

Closed shops in Ballymoney town centre, Co Antrim.

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A fifth of shops in some Northern Ireland town centres are lying empty following the recession, it was revealed.

Carrickfergus and Ballymena in Co Antrim had the highest rate of vacancies after six years of economic slump despite traders faring relatively better than some other parts of the UK, according to an expert report.

Stormont Environment Minister Mark Durkan wants to transform central areas and give them priority when deciding where to site future shops.

 

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