Primark has said it is committed to re-establishing a high street presence in Belfast city centre after a fire destroyed its store at the Bank Buildings last month.
The value retailer also donated £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 local businesses impacted by the fire.
Last week a marketing campaign was launched in an attempt to attract shoppers back to Belfast following the fire, which has led to 14 businesses being closed for up to four months and a safety cordon in place that blocks part of the city centre. Concerns have been raised about the impact of the fire and the resulting drop in footfall ahead of the all-important Christmas trading season.
The campaign is understood to have cost around £75,000, with the majority of funding coming from Belfast City Council and Visit Belfast, the BBC reported.
A Primark spokesman said: “Following the devastating fire at Bank Buildings, Primark has been focused on the welfare of our colleagues, while also working with the authorities regarding our on-going commitment to businesses and the wider community in Belfast. Today we want to provide an update on our plans.
“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. We hope that this will assist the on-going efforts to drive footfall into the city centre.”
The spokesman added: “As we progress our plans, we will continue to work with the authorities in Belfast. We would like to thank people once again for their on-going support.”