THE opening of a number of new businesses in Newcastle West has been hailed as a positive sign for the town.
This is particularly noticeable on Bridge Street where the Bridge Bar re-opened a month ago and another new business, Blooming Bridge florists, also opened its doors in the past few weeks.
Local auctioneer Michael Liston said the arrival of new businesses was “very positive” for the town, which has suffered in recent years from the effects of the recession. “There is more activity around which is great. It is encouraging to see new businesses opening on Bridge Street particularly, because of the number of businesses that closed down there in recent years,” he added.
He also pointed out that a new Italian restaurant, Ristorante Ciao, had opened recently in the Carnegie Centre on Bishop Street.
Meanwhile, another long established business on Bridge Street continues to trade, despite fears that its closure was imminent earlier this year.
Moran’s Drapery which has been in business for over 70 years announced a closing down sale back in March.
However, following a change in direction, the shop continues to trade and owner Derry Moran says he is “quite happy” with the way business is going.
“We are back open with clearance lines and school uniforms,” he explained.
“As things go on, I intend to do other things. I intend to start stocking ladies underwear in the next fortnight and I would hope to build on it from there.”
He too is delighted to see new life returning to the street.
“It shows there is a bit of life and interest in the town and if people see businesses opening up, it encourages them to have a run at it themselves,” he said.
President of Newcastle West Chamber of Commerce Pat Magner said the opening of the new businesses gives a good “confidence boost” to the town.
“Things are still challenging but we are seeing some level of improvement. There is more consistency,” he said.
“Things have settled down and we have seen a steady improvement.”