Press Release

Parliament Buildings Celebrates 80th Anniversary with Bumper Number of Visitors

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Reference: SO 01/12/13

As Parliament Buildings prepares to mark its 80th anniversary with a special open day this November, William Hay, MLA, Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly today welcomed news that visitor numbers to Parliament Buildings this summer are up by 83% on last year.

The Speaker said: “It is well known that one of my priorities during my time as Speaker has been to open up Parliament Buildings to the people it represents. Last year, for the first time, we ran regular public tours during the summer recess. We repeated that initiative this year and I am absolutely delighted that the number of people visiting during July and August increased by 83%. As a result, we will now also be running regular public tours during the Halloween and Easter recesses.

“Parliament Buildings is 80 years old this year and the Assembly Commission has agreed that we should mark that with a special Open Day on 17 November to give even more people an opportunity to visit. As well as a chance to tour the building, the Open Day will include a fascinating exhibition on the construction of Parliament Buildings, performances in the Great Hall and live demonstrations of traditional crafts.

“Parliament Buildings is an iconic feature of the landscape but I am still amazed by the number of people I meet who have never been here before or don’t know that we are open to the public. At a time when we have more and more visitors to the building and Stormont Estate, I hope that as many people as possible will take this opportunity in November to come up and mark the 80th anniversary.”

ENDS


Notes to Editors:
  • Parliament Buildings will be open on 17 November from 11.00am until 5.00pm.
  • Tours of the Building will operate every 30mins from 11.30am until 4.00pm.
  • There will be characters in period costumes, horse and carriage rides, a vintage car display, demonstrations of traditional crafts, story-telling in the library, and a photographic exhibition showing Parliament Buildings as it was built.
  • Throughout the day, there will be many drama, music and dance performances in the Great Hall, including Foyleview Special School; Ulster Brass and Ballymena Learning Together; Bellhoppers 1930 dance group; Releasing Rhythms African Drums; and Donaghadee Male Voice Choir.
  • Visitors will also be given the opportunity to take their lunch in the historic wood panelled surroundings of the Members’ Dining Room or in the Blue Flax Restaurant.

For further information about the events on 17 November, please contact the Assembly events office on 02890 521948.

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