11/12/2018

Help Paying Rates Offered For Businesses Affected By Primark Fire

Belfast business owners who have been adversely affected by the aftermath of the Primark blaze are being encouraged to apply for a subsidy to help pay their rates.

The fire broke out on 28 August and destroyed the historic Bank Buildings that housed the budget retailer, which has since reopened in Commonwealth House, but fourteen traders in the area were left unable to trade for almost three months due to a fire safety cordon.

Other retailers remained open for businesses but suffered a period of low sales due to a slump in footfall in Belfast city centre, which is expected to have dropped by 60%.

Land & Property Services (LPS) has contacted those affected with advice on how to gain help in paying their rates.
News Image
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.

Anyone who applies for the benefit should continue to pay their rates while LPS considers the application, and a refund will be made if it is successful.

Submissions for those businesses hoping to benefit from the scheme must be received by 31 March 2019 at the latest.

In a statement, LPS said: "As has already been made clear, business owners who are experiencing cash flow difficulties as a result of the Bank Buildings fire are also encouraged to contact LPS to discuss an extended payment arrangement. While this will not remove any rating liability, it may assist with cash flow difficulties at this time.

"Immediately following the incident, LPS established a dedicated team to handle these cases and has been proactively working closely with Belfast City Council, relevant agencies and government departments."



(JG/CM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

28 November 2019
Snow Patrol Cancel Belfast Shows
Snow Patrol have said they've been forced to cancel two shows in Belfast this week due to illness. The gigs were set to take place on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 at the Waterfront Hall as part of their 'Reworked' tour. They were cancelled just one day after the band said they were "gutted" to have cancelled a show in Dublin.
05 December 2019
'Disgust' Over Sectarian Attacks In North Belfast
A number of sectarian attacks have been carried out on homes in a social housing development in north Belfast. Windows were smashed and a flag hung on a property in Tyndale Gardens, Ballysillan this week. It comes after graffiti was sprayed on another property in the area.
27 November 2019
PwC To Create 600 Jobs In NI
Professional services company PwC is set to create 600 new jobs in Northern Ireland over the next five years. The Department for the Economy has collaborated with Belfast Met, Ulster University (UU) and PwC to introduce the £4.4 million training programme of skills academies. The initiatives will be delivered by Belfast Met and the university.
27 November 2019
Pair Due In Court Over Off-Licence Robbery
Two men are facing charges over an armed robbery at an off-licence in north Belfast. A business in the Ballysillan Road area was targeted on Monday evening, 25 November.
02 July 2008
Rates System Rates Very Poorly: Audit Office
The NI Government is facing criticism as news of arrears of £130m in the rates system has emerged. The huge sum has built up because a new multi-million pound computer system is said to be "inadequate", the Northern Ireland Audit Office revealed. The auditors found the Rate Collection Agency's £10.