Trader blasts council over ‘danger to town centre’

Frank McPolin outside the SuperValu store in Newry Street
Frank McPolin outside the SuperValu store in Newry Street

The owner of two shops in Banbridge has hit out at the council after his businesses went into administration.

Frank McPolin claimed the shops – SuperValu on Newry Street and Centra on the Lurgan Road – were greatly affected by the arrival of a second Tesco store on the outskirts of Banbridge.

He said: “I am disgusted by the council approach. They were warned about the danger to town centre businesses by the arrival of the Tesco store at the Outlet but they didn’t listen or care.

“They don’t care about the town centre. Some of the councillors laughed off our concerns. They have a lot to answer for. I feel they caused this and I don’t understand why the public would vote for people who do not know what they’re doing.

“They have no idea how to support local businesses.”

Mr McPolin conceded there were other factors at work, namely the rates being raised by 30 per cent.

“It is shocking that they drove the nail into the coffin of my business.”