No major external changes are planned to the building, but we are designing an amazing new retail experience which will incorporate a modern fit out as part of a new layout within the existing historic facade, along with new facilities such as a customer café, to our Primark store.
The Bank Buildings holds significance for both the local community and the city of Belfast – we want to understand your views on our plans to restore the historic building and reinstate it’s prominence in the cityscape.
As a major planning application, we are required to hold a pre-application community consultation with the community in close proximity to the building prior to submission to Belfast City Council, in August.
Once submitted, our application will be assessed by Belfast City Council and other statutory consultees prior to its determination, after which work will begin on the re-construction and restoration.
It is important that the original character of the Bank Buildings is retained and revived through the redevelopment process. The ongoing efforts to stabilise heritage features has allowed for the retention of much of the historically significant external walls. All salvageable material has been carefully assessed and stored, and where possible will be reused in the restoration.
We have given careful consideration to our approach. A series of specialist heritage, architectural, engineering and design assessments have all fed into our strategy to ensure we provide an effective restoration and redevelopment programme.
Our project team have been investigating the current physical condition of the building, assessing risks and identifying methods to allow the retention of heritage features where possible.
Bank Buildings prior to the extension
Proposed extension and restoration prior to the fire
The devastating fire at Bank Buildings meant that we were unable to deliver our newly renovated and extended store at the Bank Buildings.
We have been pleased to open Our Castle St & Donegall Place stores in response to the fire to restore our presence in Belfast city centre, whilst work has been ongoing to make safe and restore the Bank Buildings.
However, we look forward to the near future when the Bank Buildings and its extension are re-opened as a single store and we can welcome back our customers into a new larger store.
We acknowledge the impact that the fire has had for our neighbours the surrounding area. We have contributed £500,000 to a Belfast City Council recovery fund to support our neighbours, and will continue to engage with traders, shoppers and the local community in order to support the city.