A new scheme to encourage over-50s to shop in Belfast recognises the vital role that the generation plays in society, the lord mayor has said.
Gavin Robinson made his comments as he helped launch the Be Respected initiative, which will see those aged 50 and above offered a range of discounts and benefits in city centre outlets.
Almost 80 shops, restaurants, cinemas and bars have signed up to participate in Belfast City Centre Management's promotional idea, which is supported by the charity Age NI.
Mr Robinson said said: "I am keenly aware that one of the central issues for the future development of Belfast is connecting with city centre users from all generations to make Belfast attractive, safe and prosperous for all citizens, businesses and visitors.
" Northern Ireland is an ageing society and it's important to recognise the opportunities and challenges that this presents. The introduction of the Be Respected scheme recognises the vital role that the over-50s play in our society. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those businesses for offering their discounts and offers without which, this initiative could not work."
Those wishing to avail themselves of the discounts need to purchase a Be Respected card, which costs £10 - £2 of which goes to Age NI.
Belfast city centre manager Andrew Irvine said: "Be Respected will benefit our city by increased footfall and sales from a much-valued sector of our society," he said. We look forward to welcoming this generation to our city to avail of the many fantastic offers."
Anne O'Reilly, chief executive of Age NI, said: "This initiative is a positive step for Belfast in terms of increasing choice for older people, and encouraging their greater participation in society.
"Older people have a vital role to play in our society in so many ways; as workers, volunteers and carers to name a few. An initiative like Be Respected offers significant added value for people in later life and also goes some distance to make older people feel valued and treated with respect."
Cards can be purchased by visiting www.berespectedcard.co.uk or from Belfast City Centre Management in the Castle Court shopping centre.