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Bank Buildings Fire Information

Last updated: 15 October 2018, 10.14am

If you are a business affected by the Bank Buildings fire, we have information to help you.

Businesses

Business Support Programme

As part of Belfast’s wider City Recovery Programme, a Business Support Programme was established by Belfast City Council on Friday 5 October, following a decision by the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee.  

The £500,000 fund was made available to us by Primark, to support local businesses affected by the fire at Bank Buildings.  

We have looked at a number of options and agreed the zone in which smaller businesses will be eligible to apply for support.   

Businesses that may be eligible for this fund are being contacted by our officers to make them aware of the support package, and help guide them through the application process. 

We will process applications within days and if an applicant is deemed eligible, they will receive funds directly into their account.

To find out more about the Business Support Programme and for information on the application process, please email economicdevelopment@belfastcity.gov.uk or call 028 90 270 482.

For more information on agreed details, please read the statement from Friday 5 October.

Businesses

A single point of contact for businesses has been established. 

Get in touch by calling 028 9027 0482 (available 8.30am - 5pm daily), email economicdevelopment@belfastcity.gov.uk or complete our business contact form:

City centre access routes and loading areas

Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has installed temporary access routes and loading arrangements in city centre.

Please note the following from DfI:

  • To enable servicing to take place, DfI is changing the direction of flow on Berry Street and allowing two-way flow in College Street and Fountain Street.
  • With the closure of footways and roads adjacent to the Bank Buildings site pedestrian activity has increased on other city centre streets and haulage drivers should be extra vigilant of this when carrying out deliveries.
  • Haulage companies should familiarise themselves with the temporary arrangements  and ensure their choice of vehicle can safely manoeuvre along these suggested routes.
  • The loading window will not change in the city centre and will continue to be restricted from 6pm to 11am.
  • Signage will be amended as soon as possible.
  • These arrangements are temporary and may be subject to change if changes are made to the Bank Buildings safety cordon area. Whenever the city centre streets return to normal and are accessible to traffic these temporary arrangements will be removed.

City recovery investment programme

Following Primark’s announcement to contribute £500,000 to help businesses affected by the fire, we have set up a city recovery investment programme. to help businesses and attract people into the city. 

We are estimating an overall spend of £1.25 million between now and Christmas to provide targeted assistance for businesses.

The programme is planned to run into 2019, focusing towards Christmas trading and beyond.

We want to ensure the funding package is as streamlined as possible to reduce further impact on businesses.

#YourBelfast campaign

We’ve worked with Visit Belfast, Belfast One, other city partners and traders to develop #YourBelfast – a new campaign showing that Belfast remains very much open for business in the aftermath of the fire at Bank Buildings.

Learn more about the campaign and download the assets on our #YourBelfast campaign page.

Yellow Dot Trail

You can find our yellow dot trail map and information about shop and businesses on our yellow dot trail page.

Structural update

We have received the first listed building consent application from Primark which officers are immediately processing.

The public consultation period is open and will run until Monday 22 October. Details are available on the planning portal and the application reference is LA04/2018/2393/LBC.

We will also consult with the Department for Infrastructure and Department for Communities (Historical Environment Division) as required by the legislation.

We are proactively seeking solutions and working with Primark to reduce the cordon as soon as possible, and as soon as it is safe to do so. There will be some activity on site in the coming weeks as various specialists employed by Primark undertake further analysis.

Depending on the outcome of the consultation around Primark’s proposed works, we are hopeful that pedestrian access could potentially be restored between Donegall Place and Royal Avenue before Christmas – subject to health and safety considerations.