As part of the £15 million refurbishment of the departures area, George Best Belfast City Airport has announced its first new retailer, local lifestyle and gift store Born and Bred.

Born and Bred is the brainchild of Northern Ireland native Linzi Rooney, best known for her enterprise Studio Souk, based on Ann Street in Belfast. First introduced in 2013, Studio Souk provides a work space for artists to express their creativity and talent, with Born and Bred presenting the opportunity to showcase their work.

Studio Souk received high praise in the New York Times list of 5 places to shop in Belfast and was named the Top Choice for Arts and Crafts in Belfast by Lonely Planet, where it was commented that the store was “the perfect place to pick up Belfast-themed gifts and souvenirs”.

Passengers coming through the departure lounge can expect to find authentic homeware, textiles, mugs and gifts produced exclusively by the resident artists of Studio Souk. Shop and collect will be also be available through Belfast City Airport.

Linzi Rooney, Owner of Born and Bred, said:

“Northern Ireland is a talented country filled with creative minds and innovative products. Our skills go beyond a packet of Tayto crisps! It is my goal to showcase our country’s talented makers and designers in the Belfast City Airport.

“I have built a brand that has become synonymous with local talent, forward thinking and alternative consumerism and proof that shopping local does not compromise quality or a competitive price.

“Born and Bred is the little sister of Studio Souk and I can’t wait to welcome our first customer through the doors!”

Joanne Deighan, Commercial Manager at Belfast City Airport, added:

“The airport places major importance on supporting Northern Irish suppliers in the economy, with homegrown produce already available in our excellent shops and restaurants.

“Bringing Born and Bred to the departures lounge will give our passengers a true reminder of their time in Northern Ireland, allowing them to browse through the cultural yet modern range of gifts and souvenirs while waiting for a flight.

“We strive to constantly exceed customers expectations and put them at the heart of what we do. Our passengers have been asking for a larger range of local products that are available through the shop and collect service and we have been able to deliver.”

For more information about shopping at Belfast City Airport please visit Belfast City Airport can also be found on Twitter (@BELFASTCITY_AIR) and Facebook (@belfastcityairport).