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Councillors commit £1.25 million to help recovery of city centre following Bank Buildings fire

Monday September 24th, 2018

Members of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee on Friday, Sept 21 2018, agreed that they will inject more resource into supplementing the recovery of the city centre. belfast_4714279Med

The Council is estimating its overall spend to support businesses to attract people into the city will be in the region of £1.25 million (on top of the £500,000 given by Primark) between now and Christmas.

It follows Primark’s announcement earlier this week that it is to donate £500,000 to Council’s wider city recovery investment programme to help businesses affected by the fire. In relation to this contribution, Councillors also agreed that a cash flow support package for the worst affected businesses would be developed over the next two weeks.

The city recovery investment programme put in place by Belfast City Council is planned to run into 2019, focusing towards Christmas trading and beyond. The Programme is providing targeted support for businesses severely affected.

It will invest in the city to improve connection and movement and make key streets and thoroughfares attractive. The programme will fund opportunities and animations to increase footfall to key streets – so that closed off areas created by the cordon are attractive destinations.

Belfast City Council is monitoring and measuring the impact of the ‘yellow dot trail’ and wayfinding signage which was introduced in immediate response to the cordon. This work will inform improvements and help Council support businesses by driving footfall, with street animation, transport and retail offers, and city dressing all part of plans.

The Council is also developing ways to help people find their way around the city to the unique and real mix of shops that we have.

The city recovery investment programme put in place by Belfast City Council is planned to run into 2019, focusing towards Christmas trading and beyond. The Programme is providing targeted support for businesses severely affected.

It will invest in the city to improve connection and movement and make key streets and thoroughfares attractive. The programme will fund opportunities and animations to increase footfall to key streets – so that closed off areas created by the cordon are attractive destinations.

Belfast City Council is monitoring and measuring the impact of the ‘yellow dot trail’ and wayfinding signage which was introduced in immediate response to the cordon. This work will inform improvements and help Council support businesses by driving footfall, with street animation, transport and retail offers, and city dressing all part of plans.

The Council is also developing ways to help people find their way around the city to the unique and real mix of shops that we have.

Alderman Jim Rodgers, chair of the Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said:

“The scale of this disaster has had an immediate and profound impact on Belfast city centre and has left us facing huge challenges in the weeks and months ahead.

We are determined as a Council to lead this recovery operation and offer our business community all the support it needs to get back to business as usual, and to support those traders who, while outside the cordon, are also suffering a reduction in footfall and sales.

Each of the businesses has different needs and priorities. It is vital that we work together to deliver the best support programme possible, and ensure Belfast’s economic resilience in the longer term. This will not be a short term fix but support investment in regeneration of the city.”

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