Belfast Chamber upbeat as Primark walkway set to re-open

The President of Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce has hailed the “positive start to December” as a new walkway reconnecting Royal Avenue to Donegall Place following the Primark fire opens today.

Rajesh Rana, President of the Belfast Chamber, said: “Today marks a positive start to December for businesses throughout the city.

File photo dated 31/08/18 of the Primark store in Belfast city centre, after a fire broke out on Tuesday, August 28. Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

File photo dated 31/08/18 of the Primark store in Belfast city centre, after a fire broke out on Tuesday, August 28. Photo credit: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

“A temporary walkway reconnecting Royal Avenue to Donegall Place will open today - this will allow a freer movement of shoppers, workers and visitors to the city.

“Three businesses around the Castle Place junction - McDonald’s, Skechers and Argento Contemporary Jewellery - will also reopen followed by Spar on Tuesday - this is fantastic news.

“Primark will reopen at Commonwealth House, on Castle Street, next Saturday 8 December. This is very positive news for Primark who are of course at the heart of the devastation caused by fire at their premises in August. The new store, located at the rear of Bank Buildings (their planned extension) will offer 4 floors of fashion and accessories - a huge footfall driver to the city. Both staff and customers are very excited with lots of activity planned for its official opening.”

He continued: “Irish department store, Guineys, is also due to open its first Northern Ireland store this week (in the former BHS building).

“We have had a number of new additions to the city over recent weeks which include new DV8 and Matalan stores in CastleCourt and Ireland’s first Sea Salt store on Arthur Street. Tribal Burger is also due to open over the next few days in Calendar Street.

“Our #YourBelfast attractions also continue in the run-up to Christmas and special offers and discount codes can be found on the new Your Belfast App available from the App Store.

“Santa’s elves will also be out giving away vouchers for city centre stores over the next four weeks with fantastic discounts to be had.

“Santa’s Post Office (by Belfast one) is now open on Royal Avenue which is a fantastic free treat for the kids this year.”

Mr Rana added: “We would like to commend the hard work of Belfast City Council, Primark, Belfast One and the many other stakeholders who have been working very hard to get us to this point today and we want to remind shoppers that the City is a fantastic place to come in and shop and spend time with friends and family this festive period. We look forward to a string trading period.”

Peter Boyle, owner of Argento Contemporary Jewellery said: “Argento are excited to have reopened our Flagship Store on Royal Avenue. We hope to see three weeks of strong trading as we are in the midst of the usually busy festive period. Staff are happy to have been able to regain access to the store and welcome city centre shoppers looking for gifts this Christmas.” Ends