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Bank Buildings trees symbolise new hope

The survival virtually unscathed of two trees directly in front of Belfast's historic Bank Buildings, after it was gutted in a massive fire last week, was bordering on the miraculous.

A full cordon remains in place around the landmark five-storey development, which has been left as a burnt-out shell, as detailed discussions take place over plans for the future of the flagship Primark outlet.

As we reported yesterday, Ulster Unionist councillor Chris McGimpsey has suggested that the pair of trees should be relocated to the grounds of the nearby City Hall as a `symbol of hope.'

This is an entirely appropriate proposal as it sums up the way in which the commercial heart of Belfast is attempting to recover from a major setback during which it was extremely fortunate that no lives were lost

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