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Georgian Day report points to Armagh’s biggest festive celebration ever

Dobbin Street, Armagh

Calls have been made to extend this year’s Georgian Day celebrations to cover more of the city centre.

It is still two months to ago until the big day, Armagh’s unique kick-start to the festive season which draws tens of thousands to the city centre.

Already 70 stalls have signed up for the occasion, it was revealed at a meeting of the council’s economic development and regeneration committee.

New activities have been planned at the Shambles Yard.

It is intended to increase the number of park and ride spaces available and operate a bus service to the Shambles Yard.

Ulster Unionist Alderman Jim Speers congratulations the Theatre Director (Armagh) – who presented a progress report to the council – and the officers involved.

He said it was a “magical day in Armagh for both visitors and traders”.

But he highlighted the need to try and extend the impact of the event throughout the city as some areas, such as Dobbin Street, were feeling excluded.

Independent Unionist Councillor Paul Berry said Georgian Day was a fantastic day in the city, but he pointed out that there was now less car parking spaces in Scotch Street and that businesses in that area also felt excluded.

Sinn Fein Councillor Garath Keating said stall holders would be prepared to pay more to trade at the event.

In relation to the price of stalls, the Theatre Director said officers took feedback from the stall holders and some felt they were paying too much while others were happy to pay more. She advised fees had increased this year and that the focus was on getting high quality stalls.

In relation to the availability, she said stalls were publicly advertised and that allocation was given to traders selling locally produced products and city centre traders.

SDLP Councillor Sharon Haughey-Grimley, who chairs the economic development committee, said she was pleased the event was spreading to other areas of the city.

She explained that local traders had highlighted difficulties with getting a stall at the event and suggested it would be useful to carry out a promotion local retailers.

The Theatre Director said in relation to the spread of the event a meeting had been planned with business owners and City Centre Management to discuss this.

She also reported that the event was developing each year and 70 stalls were already booked for 2015.

Georgian Day this year takes place on Saturday, November 28.

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