Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce has welcomed a CastleCourt campaign to boost footfall for retailers in the wake of the Primark fire, by significantly reducing its car parking charges this weekend and every Saturday and Sunday in September.

The initiative which will see motorists park for £1 an hour during the period, follows the announcement that an exclusion zone, cutting off large parts of the city centre, will remain in place for a further four months.

Binder Tohani, spokesperson for CastleCourt said:

“Our message is that despite the current hardships facing not only our 100 tenants in CastleCourt but the surrounding streets, Belfast remains open for business.

“In support of retailers in the city centre and our loyal customer base, CastleCourt wants to make it as easy as possible for shoppers to come into the city centre as they always have done.

“As part of a wider strategy aimed at rejuvenating the shopping district, we are reducing car parking charges at CastleCourt to £1 per hour on the weekend.

“We will continue to work with Belfast City Council and other stakeholders over the coming months and the crucial Christmas period to ensure the entire city centre remains an attractive place for all those who want to shop, work and play here.

“CastleCourt has and will continue to support displaced retailers, by facilitating meetings and offering alternative retail options.”

Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce President Rajesh Rana said:

“We wholeheartedly welcome CastleCourt’s initiative which is a vitally important first step in conveying the message that this flagship retail destination remains open for business.

“CastleCourt is one of our most important retail partners which in turn drives footfall to other business in the area and we join with them to encourage people back into the city.”