Bank Buildings Fire Information
Business Support Programme
As part of Belfast’s wider City Recovery Investment Programme, a Business Support Programme was established by us on Friday 5 October, following a decision by the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee.
The initial £500,000 fund was made available to us by Primark, to support local businesses affected by the fire at Bank Buildings and is being distributed to eligible businesses until 19 November as follows:
- Independent retailers and charities inside the cordon - £19,000
- Offices inside the cordon - £2,000
- Affected independent and small businesses outside the cordon within the defined zone - £5,000
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, and proposals for large-scale programme of large-scale events include tourist and family attractions such as a ferris wheel, amusements and family zones.
Bank Buildings structural update
Belfast City Council’s Planning Committee has approved Primark’s listed building consent application for Bank Buildings.
Approval has now been given for Primark’s proposal to begin conservation-led works to take down the top two floors of Bank Buildings, which appear to be the most unstable parts of the building.
Once these unstable elements are removed, work can take place to install a façade retention scheme. It will also make it possible to reduce the cordon and restore pedestrian access between Royal Avenue and Donegall Place, subject to health and safety considerations as work takes place. It is understood that Primark are now ready to commence this work.
We have also agreed a process with Primark which includes a temporary designed walkway which we hope to be in place within weeks.
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:
Download the yellow dot trail map (PDF - 112KB)
- 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.
The pink zone marked on the map is currently closed to pedestrians and vehicles.