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Bank Buildings Fire Information


A temporary walkway reconnecting Royal Avenue to Donegall Place is open. Pedestrian access to Castle Street via Fountain Street has been restored as work to secure Bank Buildings continues.

The footpath from the corner of Zara (on Donegall Place) to the corner of Fountain Street (City Picnic) is on schedule to be reopened at the end of March 2019. 

The following businesses around the Castle Place junction are open:

  • McDonald’s
  • Skechers
  • Argento
  • DV8
  • Spar (reduced opening hours)
  • The Cookie Box
  • Guineys. 

The new Primark store at Commonwealth House on Castle Street is now open.

Abacus Beads (in Queen's Arcade) and City Picnic (on Donegall Place) will continue to trade from their temporary premises.

The British Heart Foundation pop-up shop is open at 23 Fountain Street. 

Zara and Tesco Metro remain closed while works continue to secure Bank Buildings. 

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.

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
Email: applicationbased.raterelief@finance-ni.gov.uk

#YourBelfast campaign

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.