The Democratic Unionist Party has pledged to make the revitalisation of Lisburn and village centres a priority for the new Council.
“During the economic recession our city and town centres suffered a decline in trade and with the increasing use of internet shopping the challenge to the retail sector is one that we are committed to addressing and supporting,” said a spokesperson for the DUP.
“The DUP pioneered the small business rates relief scheme that saved hundreds of businesses in Lisburn millions of pounds and through the vacant property rates holiday existing businesses are expanding and new businesses are opening.
“More is needed to bring people back into the city centre and we believe the £5m investment into Lisburn City Centre will make a difference to our local economy and create the conditions for businesses to have confidence and invest in Lisburn.
“Working with DUP Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly and Member of Parliament the DUP Council team has been delivering and we are actively working with the local business community through Lisburn Chamber of Commerce to identify the opportunities we can pursue through the new powers that will become the responsibility of local government.
“In the new Council the DUP will carry out a review of all our retail centres in the villages across Lisburn to identify areas that can be improved and seek further investment to drive forward the economy.”
Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson added: “Through a strong DUP team on Lisburn Council, as the Member of Parliament I have been able to proactively engage the Council to support the efforts being made to drive forward a positive business agenda in Lisburn, addressing the needs of the business community and helping to sustain and create new jobs for the local community.
“Positive initiatives are being taken to support small businesses and progress is being made on significant investment opportunities for a city centre hotel and bringing a major food retailer to Lisburn.
“At Sprucefield, a renewed opportunity now exists, with new owners, to bring John Lewis to Lisburn and the DUP is committed to supporting this development, in a manner that complements the City Centre and delivers over £100m of investment and hundreds of jobs for the local community.
“It is the DUP that places huge importance on being business friendly and with a strong DUP Council team, I am confident this will be the priority for the new Council.”