New multi-million pound events space at former Maze site

Inside the expansion of the Eikon Exhibition Centre are Theresa Morrissey, commercial and financial director and Colm Graham, sales and events manager
Gareth McKeown

A NEW multi-million pound event space at the Eikon Exhibition Centre in Lisburn is almost complete, just in time for the 150th Balmoral Show.

The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society has unveiled the new 5,500sqm Dr E F Logan Hall, which will enhance the existing offering at the show, running this year from May 16 to 19.

Future features will also include a retractable covered walkway between both event spaces at the Eikon, facilitating internal movement throughout the venue.

The indoor space of the Balmoral Park venue when linked will now be equivalent to three full size football pitches in excess of 10,500sqm.

The purpose-built event space, available to hire from June, has already secured a number of bookings for the coming months, including the Belfast Championship Dog Show and NI Leisure Show, while new international events including the World Tattoo Festival and the European Indoor Archery Championships are also confirmed at the venue for 2019 and 2020.

The centre's commercial and financial director, Theresa Morrissey said the expansion at the venue is testament to the success of events it has attracted since its launch in 2015. Attendances have exceeded original estimates, with the centre looking forward to welcoming its one millionth visitor in the coming months.

"Many of the existing and new event organisers have been asking for supplementary event space to grow their portfolios and I'm delighted to say that we can now accommodate them at the venue," she said.

RUAS chief executive, Alan Crowe commended the team who helped the "wonderful project" come to fruition.

"This will provide further progress in expanding and building our offering to the industry," he said.

The development and expansion of the former Maze prison site has been overseen by the award-winning team behind one of Belfast's most historical venues, the King's Hall Complex.

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