Belfast City Council considers reviewing Sunday trading hours

Belfast City Council is considering plans to allow shops to stay open for longer on some Sundays.

A committee is set to discuss a move to let ‘large shops’ have extended trading hours on up to 18 Sundays from March to September each year. The step is possible by designating the city as a holiday resort under legislation from 1997.

Currently the council permits Sunday trading from between 13:00-16:00. However, there is a strong lobby to review the rules, and extend the hours, in a move that would boost the economy, benefit tourism and support the regeneration of the city centre.

Kate Nicholl, Alliance councillor, is backing the proposal.

She said: "I walked through Victoria Square one Sunday morning and came across a group of confused tourists who were keen to spend their money in our shops but were unable to.

"It is a scene that is repeated across the city every week."