THE Belfast Primark that was destroyed by a fire last week will remain cordoned off for up to four months affecting several local businesses.
Businesses within the 'Primark safety exclusion zone' in Belfast are going to have a difficult lead up to Christmas following the news.
Issuing an update just over a week after the blaze which destroyed the Bank Buildings, the council vowed to restore the city's vibrant centre.
Fourteen businesses are affected by the closure, including major high-street brands, restaurants and an independent arts and craft shop.
The council has promised to help the businesses affected.
Traders met with Belfast City Council yesterday afternoon to discuss alternative options for relocating their businesses.
Affected retailers were assured by the council that "any opportunity to shrink this timeline will be taken".
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said the cause of the fire that ripped through the historic building is yet to be determined.
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey said: "Belfast City Council continues to work with its city partners to look at ways we can revive this part of the city centre in the wake of the fire and the ongoing recovery operation.
"While it is imperative that the safety cordon remains, we recognise it is having a serious impact - not just on the traders within the cordon, but for those in the immediate area who are suffering due to a reduction in footfall.
"In the coming days and weeks, we will be implementing a range of measures to help businesses who are struggling in the current situation. Alongside the group meetings, the council has continued to hold one to one meetings with businesses affected to understand all of the individual issues."