Northern Ireland

Primark fire: Campaign to bring shoppers back to Belfast

Primark Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption Primark was destroyed by a fire at the end of August

A new marketing campaign is attempting to attract shoppers to Belfast city centre in spite of the disruption caused by the Primark fire.

Some stores have reported a drop in business of more than 50% since the fire two weeks ago.

Sports stars Carl Frampton and David Healy, plus broadcaster Eamonn Holmes are involved in the campaign, which is entitled #YourBelfast.

The Primark store was all but destroyed when it caught fire in August.

It has led to 14 businesses being closed for potentially up to four months.

A safety cordon has been put in place, blocking off part of the city centre.

The cost of the marketing campaign is believed to be around £75,000, with the majority of the funding coming from Belfast City Council and Visit Belfast.

It is understood Carl Frampton, David Healy and Eamonn Holmes offered their support for free.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Carl Frampton is among those taking part in the campaign

The marketing campaign is the biggest in the city since the flags protests five years ago which also hit city centre trade.

The chair of the council's growth and regeneration committee, SDLP councillor Donal Lyons, said Belfast needed public support.

He said: "We are trying to show that life goes on and that there are traders who are still open for business, who deserve our support, and that the city centre really is still open for business."

Efforts are continuing to try to ensure the city is trading as normally as possible in the run-up to Christmas.

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