Traders at Smithfield and St George’s Market are getting ready to welcome their customers back with Belfast City Council confirming dates for the reopening of the two popular city centre markets.

Smithfield Market will be open from Monday 22 June, and the award-winning St George’s Market will reopen its doors on Friday 3 July.

As retailers across the city have started to reopen in recent days in line with the NI Executive guidance, Belfast City Council has been working hard to put the necessary measures in place to ensure traders can operate safely, and both traders and members of the public can adhere to the public health advice,

Councillor Christina Black, chair of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said: “As the city continues to move forward on its journey of recovery, it is more important than ever to support small, independent retailers who have been impacted by the lockdown restrictions.

“While Council has been able to support some traders in taking their businesses online, for others it has not been possible – so getting back to the market to trade will be crucial in helping to get these businesses back on track.”

Councillor Black added: “Smithfield and St George’s have a special place in our city’s retail heart – they provide more than just a shopping experience; they are unique, and part of the fabric of the city. They are also a great draw for visitors far and wide, and for tourists.

“I’m delighted that we are celebrating the good news that both can reopen again, and we can welcome visitors back in a safe and reassuring way.

“With the appropriate safety measures in place alongside visual signage of our new ‘confidence mark’, customers can feel at ease as we get up and running again.”

Earlier this week, Belfast City Council and its city partners launched a ‘confidence mark’ for the city which many stores and businesses have placed in their window to reassure customers that steps have been taken to protect staff and members of the public.