Statement following meeting with 4 Belfast MPs

Rajesh Rana, President of Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce said: “Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce today organised and chaired a meeting with our four Belfast MPs; Nigel Dodds, Emma Pengelly, Gavin Robinson and Paul Maskey, to discuss the urgent issues facing retail and trade in our city following the Primark fire.

We represent over 400 businesses in Belfast covering all sectors and as retailers and business owners we know first-hand the devastation to footfall and trade that this fire has had. We reiterated that a four-month cordon in the retail core of Belfast in the crucial months leading up to Christmas will have devastating consequences to the shops not only within the cordon but to the whole city.

We stressed the need for an urgent solution and proposed a temporary pedestrian structure to allow movement through this area.

Following the Secretary of State’s announcement yesterday of the devolution of power to our local civil servants we will be lobbying them hard on behalf of the whole city to ensure that we can get back to normality as soon as humanly possible.