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Belfast Chamber, Retail NI and Hospitality Ulster Meet Secretary of State on Primark

Secretary of State for NI Karen Bradley with Glyn Roberts, Rajesh Rana & Colin Neill

Belfast Chamber of Commerce, Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI jointly met with the NI Secretary of State today to discuss Government action to support the City Centre after the Primark Fire.

The Secretary of State met with impacted traders and with Primark staff and shop workers union USDAW.

In a joint statement, Rajesh Rana, President of Belfast Chamber, Glyn Roberts, CEO of Retail NI and Colin Neill, CEO of Hospitality Ulster said:

“This was a very useful and timely meeting with the Secretary of State”

“Our three organisations made it very clear to the Minister that immediate action from all levels of Government is needed to move forward from the Primark Fire”

“We need to see a mixture of short term support for business to get up and running again, a major focus on plans for the Christmas period and access to the city as well as a long-term investment recovery package to revitalise the city centre and its attractiveness and draw to consumers”

 “High streets were already struggling and both sales and footfall have been hit very badly by this fire.  This could seriously undermine the commercial viability of the city for the foreseeable future and put thousands of jobs and dozens of businesses at risk unless we put in place really innovative and long term measures now.”

 “Action is needed to accelerate growth and help those businesses thrive into the longer-term.   We need to look at everything from new attractions, markets, events, regeneration, transport, the evening economy and the use of vacant premises.”

 “A financial support package with input from Primark, the Council, NI Departments and HM Treasury is urgently needed”