High Street Scheme

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Economy – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 6 December 2021.

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Photo of Gordon Lyons Gordon Lyons DUP 2:30, 6 December 2021

We know that £115 million has been spent in our local economy. You will be aware, I am sure, of the figures from Retail NI. When we spend local, 63% of it is recycled in the local economy. It is too early to say exactly what the impact has been, but we know that it has been incredible; it has had a fantastic effect on the footfall in our town and city centres over the past month in particular. It is really important that we have that in place for the footfall alone, but there will be longer-term economic benefits that come from that as well. As I said earlier, people are going back to the high street, including after they have used their card. It is about a short-term economic boost, but it is also about getting interest back in our high streets and showing people what there is on offer. When you go physically in to a shop, you can buy something and take it home that day. There is also customer service. All of that is in one place. The feedback from retail in particular has been fantastic.