‘Gay cake’ bakery closes Belfast branch

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The bakery at the centre of the so-called “gay cake” case is to close a branch in Belfast.

Ashers was cleared of discrimination by the UK’s highest court after its owners refused to make a cake promoting same-sex marriage.

Its store on Royal Avenue in the city centre is set to close because it is not busy enough.

Ashers Bakery court case
Daniel and Amy McArthur are to close their Belfast city centre branch (Brian Lawless/PA)

General manager Daniel McArthur said: “It simply comes down to the figures.

“We decided not to renew the lease.

“Belfast city centre isn’t busy enough – our other shops are much busier.

“It’s been planned for some time and I am pleased to say there will be no job losses.”

A legal action was originally brought by gay rights activist Gareth Lee, who claimed he had been discriminated against when the firm refused to make him a cake iced with the slogan “Support Gay Marriage”.

Belfast Primark fire
The historic building which housed Primark in Belfast city centre was destroyed in a blaze in August (Liam McBurney/PA)

The massive fire at the Primark store in Belfast city centre destroyed the listed building.

A safety cordon around it has been established while engineers carry out inspections.

That has had a major impact on trade, with the main thoroughfare of the city centre blocked to pedestrian and motorised traffic.

Extra funding and support has been put in place for businesses affected.

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