Derry’s Economy has shifted significantly towards knowledge sector activity in the last decade. Sectors achieving international success include; technology manufacturing, software development and digital media, business processes in technology and financial services and a growing life sciences sector. Retailing and tourism have also demonstrated significant growth in terms of increased demand by retailers to locate in the City as well as a rise in visitor numbers.
Derry is recognised as the regional retail centre for the North West of Ireland serving a catchment population of over 400,000. The City Centre has a vibrant retailing mix consisting of major multi-national chains and indigenous retailers. The City boasts two major indoor shopping centres, Foyleside (400,000sq.ft) and the Richmond Centre (160,000sq.ft), which are occupied predominantly by high street chains and multi-nationals. Foyleside recently announced plans to create a further 237,000sq.ft, which will reinforce the City’s role as the shopping capital of the North West of Ireland.
There are a series of exiting regeneration and public realm projects ongoing, which complement the retail attractiveness of the City. For example, the ongoing £8m investment in public realm at Waterloo Place/Guildhall Square due for completion in Summer 2010.
In complementing City Centre growth, Derry has witnessed considerable growth in out-of-town shopping which has attracted a range of multi national tenants across a range of sub-sectors. Further investment opportunities are available for retail related activity in prime City Centre and out-of-centre sites.
Typical Zone A rents in Derry stand at £115 per sq.ft. Given the City’s proximity to the border with the Republic of Ireland a dual currency system of sterling and euro is in operation in most retail outlets. Furthermore, the prevailing Euro to Sterling exchange rate has resulted in significant retailing spend from residents of the Republic of Ireland.