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Published
Sep 19, 2018
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Primark helps traders hit by Belfast fire

Published
Sep 19, 2018

Primark has donated £500,000 to support small businesses affected by the fallout from the devastating fire at its Belfast city centre flagship shop.


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A blaze ripped through Primark’s five-storey Bank Buildings property at the end of August, causing major disruption in Belfast’s main shopping district. A large cordon has been put in place and is estimated to remain for four months, forcing nearby businesses to remain closed.

A series of structural assessments are being carried out to determine whether the historic building can be saved, and the Irish clothing company has committed to be back up and running in the city as soon as possible.

“It is our intention to be back up and trading again as soon possible. As you can appreciate, we are at the early stages on this and will confirm details as soon as possible,” a spokesperson for the firm said.

“As well as re-establishing a high street presence in the city, Primark is committed to supporting the business community affected by the fire.

“Primark will be donating £500,000 to Belfast City Council’s recovery programme as a gesture of goodwill. The council will manage the distribution of the recovery fund to those local businesses impacted by the fire.”

The Belfast Chamber of Commerce thanked Primark for the gesture, but said the damages could reach hundreds of millions of pounds if the issue is not resolved before Christmas.

"We are very grateful Primark has made this gesture and obviously it will help small traders to re-establish in the short term," Belfast Chamber of Commerce president Rajesh Rana.

"We are asking for further funding from central government, Her Majesty's Treasury and the Department for Communities as half a million isn't a great deal of money. Our traders are reporting losing millions of pounds a day in revenue and that could equate to hundreds of millions of pounds by the time this is resolved."

Primark’s Bank Buildings store had recently undergone a multimillion-pound refurbishment which was expected to create more than 100 new staff jobs.

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