Boost For Belfast Traders As Primark Cordon Reduced

Traders in Belfast City Centre are hopeful for an increase in sales after the cordon surrounding the Bank Buildings was reduced.

Work to secure the historic building, which housed Primark before it was gutted by a fire last August, has been ongoing over recent months while much of the area has been cordoned off.

Pedestrian access to Castle Street via Fountain Street was restored today, Wednesday 27 February, with further reductions of the safety barriers planned.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey, welcomed the news and said it would be a boost for traders in the area.

She commented: "We know that some retailers, particularly in the immediate area of the cordon, continue to be impacted by a reduction in footfall and sales, so this will be a welcome development and is good news for Castle Street traders."

The footpath from the corner of Zara on Donegall Place to the corner of Fountain Street is on schedule to be reopened at the end of March. The British Heart Foundation shop, which had its premises on Castle Street prior to the fire, has since relocated and a new shop is operating on Fountain Street.
News Image
Councillor Hargey said: "It has been a challenging six months for our city centre businesses but Belfast has proven itself to be a resilient city. It's really encouraging to see this progress and as the cordon continues to be reduced in the coming weeks, I think we will see footfall and trade start to increase again in this area, as accessibility for pedestrians and shoppers improves."

Since the fire and the resulting cordon, Belfast City Council has been looking at ways to reimagine how city centre spaces are used, exploring best practice in urban design, and taking the opportunity to pilot new ideas.

One such project is a pop-up park which is set to open at Castle Place at the end of March, with an emphasis on being child-friendly and a space where children can explore and learn.

"As we look ahead to the longer-term recovery and regeneration of this part of the city centre in particular, we have a unique opportunity to trial new ideas and think about how our public spaces are used," Councillor Hargey added.

Over the coming weeks, the council will also be carrying out further physical and environmental improvements; upgrading entries and enhancing connectivity around the city centre, adding enhanced lighting, greening the city, and having a 'deep clean' to ensure the streets are attractive and welcoming for visitors and residents.

A family-centred programme of activities is also being delivered in partnership with Cathedral Quarter Trust including Lego animation workshops, fun science workshops and Mad Hatter's tea parties.


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

01 December 2020
Police Seize 'Substantial Amount' Of Illegal Alcohol In West Belfast
Police came under attack in west Belfast as they attempted to remove two van-loads of seized alcohol on Monday afternoon. Police uncovered a "substantial amount of alcohol" at a commercial property on the Falls Road as they conducted a search under warrant.
30 November 2020
Templemore Baths Restoration To Get Underway
Work has gotten underway on a £17 million restoration and expansion of Templemore Baths in east Belfast. Templemore is the sole surviving Victorian public baths on the island of Ireland and one of the few remaining in the United Kingdom that still delivers its original function, with most of its original interior fabric and fittings intact.
05 May 2021
New Route Announced From Belfast To Cardiff
A new route from Belfast City Airport to Cardiff is to launch this summer. Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional routes, confirmed flights to the Welsh capital will commence on 28 June and will operate up to four times a week.
04 May 2021
Man Stabbed During Attack In East Belfast
A man, aged in his 40's, has been stabbed during an attack in east Belfast. The victim was chased by a number of men from the Killagan Bend in the Cregagh area area, heading towards the Greenway just after 11 pm on Monday, 03 May. He was stabbed in the back and the head. The victim remains in a stable condition in hospital.
27 November 2020
Man Jailed For 'At Least' 22 Years For Murder Of Adrian Ismay
A 50-year-old Belfast man has been jailed for a minimum of 22 years for the 2016 murder of prison officer Adrian Ismay. Christopher Robinson was convicted of the murder of the prison officer in January this year, and received a mandatory life sentence.