Cost of Primark security is revealed

By the end of this year the security operation at the safety cordon around Primark will have cost Belfast City Council nearly £300,000.

Following August’s fire the manned cordon was placed around Bank Buildings.

Pacemaker Press 03/12/2018 'Shoppers  use the  temporary walkway  which has opened in Belfast city centre on Monday, allowing  businesses to resume trading, Some shops in the area have been closed since the Primark fire. 'The area has been closed for three months due to safety concerns after a fire at the end of August destroyed the landmark Bank Buildings, which housed Primark.'Pic  Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 03/12/2018 'Shoppers use the temporary walkway which has opened in Belfast city centre on Monday, allowing businesses to resume trading, Some shops in the area have been closed since the Primark fire. 'The area has been closed for three months due to safety concerns after a fire at the end of August destroyed the landmark Bank Buildings, which housed Primark.'Pic Colm Lenaghan/ Pacemaker

Security staff from Belfast company Eventsec are based at six locations where they work 12 hour shifts to prevent members of the public from accessing the unstable structure and the area around it.

Belfast City Council have revealed the cost of the security operation following a freedom of information request from the BBC.

Up to October 28, the total amount paid on invoices received was £129,672.80.

The total cost of maintaining the cordon with the same level of security up until December 31 will be around £296,000.

Although Belfast City Council are footing the bill, it is understood they hope to recoup a portion of the costs from Primark.

A council spokesperson said: “Bank Buildings remains unstable and with work ongoing to restore and stabilise the structure, security is necessary to minimise any danger to the public and to continue preventing people from accessing the site.

“The council has opened dialogue with Primark in respect of the costs incurred by the council in relation to maintaining public safety and the integrity of the cordon.

“That dialogue will continue with Primark, its lawyers and any relevant insurers.”

The cordon around Primark is likely to be in place well into 2019.

At the beginning of the week an enclosed walkway was opened to allow pedestrian access between Donegall Place and Royal Avenue. It too is staffed by Eventsec.