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Businesses within Primark cordon unable to trade for 4 months minimum

There will also be no access for pedestrians down Royal Avenue. Credit: UTV

Fourteen businesses within the Primark safety cordon will be unable to trade for at least 4 months while engineers assess the building's integrity.

Belfast's Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey said there will also be no access for pedestrians down Royal Avenue.

  • Sara Moore was live in Belfast city centre:

Belfast City Council met with city centre traders affected in the wake of the Primark fire on Wednesday afternoon.

In the coming days and weeks, we will be implementing a range of measures to help businesses who are struggling in the current situation.

– Councillor Hargey

The council will hold group and one-to-one meetings with affected businesses in order to understand all of their individual issues.

The council and other government departments are working together to find alternative premises for the businesses.

Advice will also be on hand regarding rates and employability.

Repair work

Over the coming days, engineers will assess the damage of the building before drawing up a plan.

Once such plan of action could include building a bracing solution to secure the Bank Buildings.

The engineers will be able to determine if the façade can be saved.

Footfall

On Thursday, Belfast City Council will put signage in place to help navigate people around the city centre while the cordon remains in place.

The Council and its city partners is also planning a campaign aimed at sustaining visitors to the city.

While it is imperative that the safety cordon remains, we recognise it is having a serious impact - not just on the traders within the cordon, but for those in the immediate area who are suffering due to a reduction in footfall.

– Councillor Deirdre Hargey

Councillor Hargey added: “We will be doing everything we can to restore the city to the very vibrant place that it is, and, it is vital that as a city, we continue to rally round to support those affected by this event both directly and indirectly."