Belfast Primark to remain closed for months

The historic Bank Building, home of Primark in Belfast, that was recently destroyed by fire.
The historic Bank Building, home of Primark in Belfast, that was recently destroyed by fire.

Belfast City Council has pledged to restore the site of the disastrous Primark fire to its previous vibrancy, although local businesses face a very challenging few months before that can happen.

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7 September 2018 | 0

The landmark Primark store in Belfast that was completely destroyed by fire last week will remain closed for up to four months, which will likely make the run-up to Christmas a difficult time for the surrounding businesses.

After a masssive fire destroyed the Bank Buildings, a “Primark safety exclusion zone” was established, which affected 14 nearby businesses including high street brands, restaurants and an independent arts and crafts store. The Belfast Telegraph reports the city council’s pledge to restore the area to its previous vibrant state and to help the businesses affected, adding that “any opportunity to shrink the timeline will be taken”.

Belfast Lord Mayor Cllr Deirdre Hargey said the Council continues to work with its city partners to look at ways to revive that part of the city centre.

Despite this pledge, local businesses have experienced a severe drop in business since the fire. In a statement, Primark said it would support its staff during the disruption, while Zara in the adajcent building has pledged to pay staff as normal while the cordon is in place and Tesco staff have been relocated. However, smaller businesses are reported to be struggling already, and facing an uncertain immediate future.

Meanwhile, Belfast’s Fire & Rescue Service said the cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

 

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