Thursday, January 31, 2013


Below is the full statement from Sprucefield Centre Ltd and John Lewis following their decision to withdraw the planning application for a John Lewis department store and new shops at Sprucefield, Northern Ireland.

Friday 1st February 2013


The Sprucefield Centre Limited (comprising Westfield and Snoddens Construction) and John Lewis can confirm that they have taken the decision to withdraw the planning application for a John Lewis department store and new shops at Sprucefield.

This decision follows the Minister for the Environment’s recent announcement that he intends to change the current policy and now confine further development at Sprucefield to bulky goods only, therefore excluding the new John Lewis department store.

With the deadline looming to submit evidence to the Planning Appeals Commission, The Sprucefield Centre Limited and John Lewis have been forced to accept that the uncertainty over BMAP planning policy means they cannot proceed to Inquiry at this time.

The Sprucefield Centre Limited, together with John Lewis, was committed to invest over £150 million into Northern Ireland and create over 1,500 retail jobs. Additionally, John Lewis would have opened a distribution facility in Northern Ireland resulting in further investment and jobs.

Over the last nine years John Lewis has clearly and consistently stated that, having reviewed all available options, Sprucefield is the only suitable location to develop a new full line department store in Northern Ireland.

The Sprucefield Centre Limited and John Lewis will review their position once the Executive has considered the BMAP policy and there is clarity on the role of Sprucefield as a regional shopping centre in Northern Ireland. John Lewis has reiterated its continued interest in opening a new department store at Sprucefield.

For further information, please contact:

Jacqueline Scott
PR and Corporate Affairs Manager Westfield UK/EU
T: +44 (0) 207 061 1536 / + 44 (0) 7760 316 636

John Lewis Partners
Kieran Donnelly
Morrow Communications

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Morrows 'Digest' Latest Food Costs Report

 With 9 out of 10 consumers indicating that the rising cost of their grocery shopping is a cause of major concern, it’s vital that the local agri-food and retail sectors are fully up to speed with the latest research from the Consumer Council for NI.
Representing our clients from across these sectors, Claire Bonner battled the snow and ice at Stormont to attend the launch of the Consumer Council’s ‘Hard to Stomach’ report which investigates the real impact of rising food costs on local people.
The report’s findings are hard to ignore, with 82% of consumers claiming food price increases have dramatically changed the way they shop, cook and eat.  Recommendations include clarity around pricing policies and promotion, discounting of healthier options and better engagement overall. There’s no doubt the ‘Hard to Stomach’ report ( is a useful barometer for those involved in the production, processing and retailing of foods today.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Helping to make Belfast a Brighter Place!

The Morrows events team recently delivered the Brighter Belfast Environmental Awards and Belfast in Bloom Awards on behalf of Belfast City Council in a glittering gala ceremony for 120 guests.

Now in their sixth year, the environmental awards reward those who are working to improve their local environment and contribute to creating a brighter, cleaner and greener city whilst Belfast in Bloom recognises local residents and community groups who help to improve the visual appearance of our city.

In total 18 awards were presented including Best Hanging Basket, Best Window Box Display, Best Community Group and the prestigious Isobel Bennet Memorial Award as well as Litter Heroes, Business and the Community Together and Education for Change Award.

Local comedian William Caulfield hosted the event within City Hall and entertainment was provided by Swingabella, a 1940s trio performing Andrews Sisters tunes who had the audience on their feet! A fantastic evening that brightened up a cold, wet January evening! 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Previous 'Propellers' Explain the benefits of the Invest NI Propel Programme

We have just completed a short video to showcase the benefits of the Invest Northern Ireland Propel Programme and hear directly from a number of previous participants on why they would recommend it to would be entrepreneurs with innovative ideas that have export potential. The deadline for applications for the 2013 intake is 22nd January and you can find out more at