Belfast’s biggest expo centre opens for business

Belfast’s new Titanic Exhibition Centre (TEC), sited opposite Titanic Studios in Titanic Quarter, opened today delivering a huge boost for local business in the process.

The 6,000 square metre structure will be used as a potential venue for exhibitions, community and sporting events, as well as large-scale banquets.

The first of these gets underway this weekend when The Wedding Journal Show opens its doors at the venue.

More than 3,000 visitors will be able to attend exhibitions at any one time and the TEC will also have the capacity to provide sit-down banqueting for up to 2,500 diners.

Tim Husbands, chief executive of Titanic Belfast said that since planning permission had been granted at the end of June, there had been a “whirlwind of activity” around the Titanic Quarter site to ensure that it was ready to open on time:

“We are all delighted that in just 80 days, the project team has turned concept into reality and this wonderful space is now open for business,” he added. “Many of the team will feel that in making it happen, they have indeed been ‘around the world in 80 days’ and I pay tribute to all their hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and commitment.”

Wynn Penton, director of The Wedding Journal Show said that she was delighted to be involved in the first event to be staged at the plush new venue:

“With the closure of the Kings Hall, Belfast was in need of a centrally located, dedicated exhibition space on a par with other major cities in the UK,” she added. “We’re confident that the TEC meets those needs. Our 250 exhibitors will transform the TEC into a wedding wonderland and we’re anticipating 10,000 visitors to the Show across the weekend.”

Titanic Belfast will have sales and management responsibility for the TEC, offering it for stand-alone exhibitions or in conjunction with facilities within Titanic Belfast and SS Nomadic.

The TEC will complement the Waterfront Hall and the Odyssey’s SSE Arena and Titanic Belfast will be working in tandem with them to provide top-class facilities for a broad range of events and organisations. It will also be promoting the venue in conjunction with partners such as Visit Belfast, Tourism NI, Belfast City Council, the Northern Ireland Event Organisers (NIEO) and a wide range of exhibitors.

John McGrillen, chief executive of Tourism NI said that he believed the new venue would put Belfast on the map for wide range of shows and events:

“In so doing, it will bring more visitors to the city and provide greater benefits for the whole Northern Ireland economy,” he added.

Our picture shows (foreground), Belfast’s Deputy Lord Mayor, Alderman Guy Spence and Tim Husbands, CEO, Titanic Belfast. (back row, from left), Wynn Penton, director, The Wedding Journal Show; Gerry Lennon, CEO, Visit Belfast; Terence Brannigan, chairman, Tourism NI; John McGrillen, chief executive, Tourism NI and Bill Penton, director, The Wedding Journal Show.