Bank Buildings Fire Information
A temporary walkway reconnecting Royal Avenue to Donegall Place is open.
The following businesses around the Castle Place junction are also open:
- Argento (Argento also remains open in Cornmarket)
- Spar (reduced opening hours).
The new Primark store, at Commonwealth House on Castle Street, and the new Guineys store at Castle Place are now open.
City Picnic (extra market stalls in Donegall Place) and Abacus Beads (Queen's Arcade) will continue to trade from their temporary premises.
The Cookie Box at Castle Place will open from Saturday 15 December.
The British Heart Foundation is set to open a pop-up shop in 23 Fountain Street on Thursday 20 December. They are appealing for new donations of stock to fill the new shop.
You can drop items into the new Fountain Street Belfast shop from Friday 14 December, which can include:
- unwanted clothes
- books and DVDs
- household goods
You can also drop your donations into the BHF Bow St Lisburn shop or contact them on 028 9267 0793 to arrange a free collection from your home at a time convenient to you.
Zara and Tesco Metro remain closed while works continue to secure Bank Buildings.
This information is correct as of Wednesday 12 December, 2.50pm.
Bank Buildings structural update
Work is ongoing to brace the Bank Buildings structure.
Some of the damaged structure of Bank Buildings, including two chimneys, has been carefully removed, bit by bit.
This amounted to 32 pallets and has been taken off site where the Historic Environment Division of Department for Communities will review it to see what can be saved.
The unstable areas at the clock tower and two sides are now stabilised with steel and wood shoring.
City centre recovery programme
We launched a £1.69 million fund for the city centre to drive footfall and aid the city’s economic recovery following the fire.
This investment includes the £1.25 million spend announced on 21 September 2018. A large-scale programme of events include tourist and family attractions such as a ferris wheel, amusements and family zones are in place across the city centre.
Business Support Programme
As part of Belfast’s wider City Recovery Investment Programme, a Business Support Programme was established by us on Friday 5 October 2018, following a decision by the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee.
The initial £500,000 fund was made available to us by Primark to support local businesses affected by the fire. 95 businesses have accessed this funding through the programme.
Land & Property Services (LPS) - Hardship Rate Relief
Land & Property Services (LPS) are encouraging businesses affected by the Bank Buildings fire to contact them about help with paying their rates and for details of how to apply for Hardship Rate Relief.
The Hardship Rate Relief Scheme for non-domestic properties is intended to assist a business recover from a temporary crisis, financial or otherwise, as a result of exceptional circumstances.
Guidance notes and an application form are available to download from the NI Business Info website. Applications for Hardship Rate Relief must be received by 31 March 2019.
Businesses can contact LPS for advice and information on help with paying rates by:
Telephone: 0300 200 7801 (charged at local rate)
Telephone: +44 28 9049 5794 if calling from outside the UK
Text relay: 18001 0300 200 7801
We’ve worked with Visit Belfast, Belfast One, other city partners and traders to develop #YourBelfast – a new campaign showing Belfast as a vibrant and welcoming city.
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.
Yellow dot trail
We've created a downloadable map which shows the pedestrian route around the black zone, including streets and areas that are accessible. The black zone marked on the map is currently closed to pedestrians and vehicles.