Belfast City Council have kindly granted permission to host the Gala Dinner at Belfast City Hall and will provide a welcome drinks reception for those attending the conference dinner in honor of their visit.
In 1888 Queen Victoria granted Belfast the status of city and it was agreed a grand and magnificent building was required to reflect this status. Belfast City Hall opened its doors on the first of August 1906, at a time of unprecedented prosperity and industrial might for the city. It was designed by Alfred Brumwell Thomas in the Baroque Revival style and constructed in Portland stone. The magnificent building cost £369,000 to complete and is a lasting landmark to Belfast’s success and civic pride. The City Hall's connections with the Titanic are many. In fact the Lord Mayor at the time of its opening, Sir Daniel Dixon, credited William Pirrie, the man who created Titanic, as having ‘the big ideas’ which would result in City Hall. Pirrie, Lord Mayor in 1896/7, is said to have referred to it as 'the Stone Titanic'. Thanks to Pirrie’s influence, the Lord Mayor’s Suite is also known as ‘the Titanic Rooms’, as craftsmen who worked on them went on to work on the famous liner. Portraits of Lord and Lady Pirrie hang in the Banqueting Hall. In its grounds, the Titanic Memorial, sculpted by Thomas Brock, pays tribute to the 22 local men who lost their lives on the ship. The Titanic Memorial Garden in the East grounds opened on 15 April 2012 and is the only memorial in the world containing every name of the victims of the disaster, not listing them by class or rank aboard ship but simply alphabetically.
The iconic Belfast City Hall was officially reopened on 12th October 2009 following an £11m, two-year refurbishment programme. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton performed a ribbon cutting ceremony and unveiled a plaque to mark the reopening. As part of the refurbishment, a new coffee shop “The Bobbin” and an exhibition area were added. Belfast City Hall remains the civic headquarters of Belfast City Council and is always a hive of daily activity with ceremonies, registration of births, tourists taking tours of the building and guests attending the numerous events. The grounds are also used for many events from continental markets to open air concerts.