Shoppers urged to buy local this Christmas

The switch is flicked on  Derry's Christmas lights on Thursday night.
The switch is flicked on Derry's Christmas lights on Thursday night.

Shoppers planning for Christmas are being asked to consider setting their sights on the shops and sights Derry has to offer this year.

In a new initiative backed by the City Centre Initiative and local retailers - and supported by the Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council, Elisha McCallion - canny bargain hunters and those looking for a festive shopping experience are being reminded of all Derry has to offer.

Not to mention, the importance of the economic boosts to the city - where retailers are keen to have as many people through their doors - despite the allure of the big internet Black Friday deals.

A spokesperson for CCI said Derry really does offer a ‘Legenderry Christmas experience’ - which extends far beyond the price tickets on items in the shops.

With the practicalities in mind, the city centre has a lot to offer.

There are in excess of 3,300 parking spaces in the city centre - from paid for car parks to on street parking.

For those who prefer to leave the car at home, Translink are now offering shopping day trips to Derry from Belfast - a role reversal from previous years.

The city centre offers a host of eating spots - with many offering year round discounts. So whether it’s a cup of tea you want, or a full lunch with a glass of wine there will always be somewhere available.

The CCI is keen to point out the range of shops now available in Derry - from the big draw names such as Office, Apple, Mac Cosmetics and many more to the city’s range of quirky independent shops and boutiques showcasing lots of homegrown talent.

The Craft Village Cathedral Quarter offer the perfect spots to grab some crafty, one off gifts for the fussiest of family members.

Derry City and Strabane District Council has also arranged a host of events to make the atmosphere in the city as welcoming as possible.

As Black Friday bargain events hit the shops this weekend, so will the Sound of Light Festival which will bring the city centre to life with an array of sights and sounds not to be missed and a festive market for three days only in the Guildhall Square.

And for younger shoppers, the city offers an array of Santa experiences - not only in the big supermarkets but in other city centre venues - such as The Playhouse on Artillery Street.