25 May 2022

Businessman calls for 'radical' ideas to prevent the death of Derry's city centre

As we emerge from lockdown, John McGowan says that the heart of Derry needs to be reimagined

Businessman calls for 'radical' ideas to prevent the death of Derry's city centre

What is the future of Derry's city centre?

A prominent businessman has said it is time to 'reimagine' Derry's city centre.

John McGowan believes it is time to be 'radical and bold' when it comes to the future of the city centre.

His comments come just days after the news that one of the biggest retail stores in the city centre is to close.

Eason has told staff at its store in the Foyleside Shopping Centre that it will not be reopening.

It has also emerged that another store in the Foyleside centre, the Thorntons chocolate outlet, has been earmarked for closure.

The proposed closure of these stores have again reignited the debate about the future of Derry's city centre.

In an article for the Derry News, also published on the Derry Now wesbite, Mr McGowan said there needed to be a new focus on the area.

“It's now time to tear the rule book up and imagine the city centre we want for the next 30 years and the reality is that it will be less about retail and more about making them somewhere where people want to be,” he said.

“It needs to be accessible fun and an exciting development.”

Mr McGowan said city centres across Ireland have been battling for survival for decades.

Among his ideas for Derry are removing traffic from the city centre, encouraging more people to live in the area and making more of public spaces.

“All of this might mean changing rules in relation to the use of public space and licensing arrangements but we really have to change before our city centre dies,” he said.

You can read John McGowan's article in full here -

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