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In line with government Coronavirus guidance Foyleside Shopping Centre is welcoming the reopening of its non-essential stores from Friday 12th June. During lockdown, Foyleside Shopping Centre has supported essential stores to remain open throughout this period as well as maintaining the safety of all shoppers and staff alike.

The health and safety of customers and employees continues to be the top priority and Foyleside has introduced enhanced measures to keep you shoppers safe. Enhanced hygiene regimes that were introduced at the start of the outbreak will continue, with more deep cleaning of key areas and touchpoints like escalators, toilets and keypads. These measures have remained in place while Foyleside Shopping Centre provided vital access to essential services during the lockdown period. Hand sanitiser stations will be present throughout the centre and signage to ensure visitors stay socially distanced that will not only meet all requirement but go ‘above and beyond’.

It is advised that visitors have PPE with face masks on entering the building and the Centre will also be utilising its in centre people counting system monitoring the number of shoppers in the Centre at any given time. All staff have received specialist training in line with Covid guidelines and ongoing staff training is in place to ensure visitors stay socially distanced.

Speaking on how the centre has adapted, Fergal Rafferty, Centre Manager said, “As Foyleside is one of the larger shopping centres in the country, we are in a fortunate position whereby we can manage the customer journey throughout the centre  and in all the stores. As well as heightened hygiene measures across every touch point, we have technology to monitor footfall and flows and ensure social distancing is practiced, as well as the benefit of onsite security customer services teams to carefully control the measures at all times”.

Fergal continued, “Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of all of our customers, retailers and colleagues. We have considered carefully how to create an operating environment that allows the centre and all stores to reopen safely. Throughout the mall and within all of our stores, we will display clear information for consumers on how to shop in this new environment. Our team have been working incredibly hard to keep our centre clean and safe during the lockdown and we are hugely grateful to them. We would also like to thank our customers and visitors for all their cooperation and patience so far”.

Other measures which will be introduced include encouragement for shoppers to use contactless payment for transactions, safety reminders on in-centre digital displays and safety announcements over the tannoy system.

For more information and a list of stores which will be opening please visit



Carrickfergus Enterprise has been awarded its ISO certification during lockdown to mark its continued and constant commitment to provide high quality services to its clients and local businesses.

ISO 9001 is the international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system (QMS). Organisations use the standard to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. The accolade has been awarded for the 21st year in a row and it is a positive boost for Carrickfergus Enterprise as it continues to support and mentor local businesses through this challenging time.

Continuing with business support since lockdown began, Carrickfergus Enterprise has been hosting weekly ‘Coffee & Catch up’ sessions. They have enabled local business owners and staff to collaborate via virtual calls to network and interact. Businesses have been encouraged to get involved with a focus on those located in the Mid and East Antrim area, the Causeway Coastal Route, Tourism & Hospitality Businesses as well as Women Entrepreneurs.  Businesses are connecting from Carrickfergus to Limavady and across to Rathlin Island.

Kelli Bagchus from Carrickfergus Enterprise said: “Now more than ever, we need to stay connected with one another and it is our aim to work with local businesses and clients we support, ensuring they meet their business and employment goals. This can be an isolating time however we have maintained our output during lockdown, proven by the recent ISO certification. We have adapted the way we work by introducing services such as our weekly virtual calls.  Activities like this have ensured we continue to maintain a high standard and keep connected with one another.”

Kelli Bagchus adds, “Sometimes, a coffee and a chat is all it takes to give someone the motivation to make a positive difference to their day. The meetings are actually giving businesses that don’t usually connect, a chance to have a chat and even collaborate for the first time, so it is proving to be a great success.”

One business owner who runs Ballyeamon Barn Hostel in Cushendall, has benefitted from the virtual meetings. Liz Weir said: “It’s quite a shock, you suddenly lose all your income with a snap of the fingers. Living alone in a remote but beautiful area can lead to depression and feelings of isolation. The regular virtual coffee and conversation sessions have kept me connected to other tourism providers discussing similar issues of concern. Apart from offering useful practical support, these sessions have raised morale and given me hope during a period of worry and economic crisis.”