Primark to pay all staff from destroyed Belfast store until December 31st

The company is also looking for a suitable premises for a replacement Primark store in the city

Primark to pay all staff from destroyed Belfast store until December 31st

Picture by: Liam McBurney/PA Wire/PA Images

Primark has confirmed that all staff from the destroyed store in Belfast will be paid until the end of the year.

The retailer's store at Bank Buildings in Belfast city centre was heavily damaged in a blaze on August 28th, with the company today saying 1,500 people were safely evacuated from the store.

In the wake of the fire, the approximately 300 staff members are being redeployed to other Primark stores in the Belfast area - with the retailer saying it is "taking into account each team member’s individual circumstances".

It notes that factors such as additional travel expenses are being considered for any staff being sent elsewhere, with the aim of having all staff back at work by September 17th.

The company has stressed that it's paying all affected staff until Monday 31st December.

However, it also says it's looking for another premises in Belfast to get back up and running in the city.

The Ireland-based clothing giant said it is working with authorities to reduce the size of the safety cordon around the destroyed store.

In a statement, the company explained: "In the immediate aftermath of the fire, we established a team of specialist engineers to advise on how to secure the structure as soon as possible. The priority was to remove elements that posed an immediate risk to public safety.

"This specialist teams continue to survey the building to determine its structural integrity and to inform the best next steps to reduce the cordon restrictions. All options are being explored for the future of the structure."

Last week's fire led to a major firefighting operation and street closures in Belfast city centre.

Firefighters are said to have managed to save a recently refurbished area at the back of the building, and no other buildings were damaged.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are continuing.