Education news

Mandela Hall name to be retained in new Queen's students' union

Work will begin this year if planning is approved

A NEW Mandela Hall entertainment venue is to form part of a massive student centre being planned by Queen's University Belfast.

A planning application has been submitted for the redevelopment of the new students' union.

It will see the demolition of the current facility, which shut last year, and development of a student centre, shops, eateries, a bar, offices and multi purpose spaces.

Live music venue Mandela Hall - which saw U2 play there twice in the band's early days - was considered the main casualty of the old venue's closure.

However, Queen's said the new centre would include "vibrant social and commercial spaces such as the SU Shop, the SU Bar, a Mandela Hall entertainment venue, and state-of-the-art facilities for our clubs and societies".

The application said the former Mandela Hall, which had been refurbished in the 1990s, offered a "poor student experience" adding there was "antisocial behaviour with many hidden alcoves".

The new venue, Queen's said, would continue the legacy of Mandela Hall with improved flexible facilities.

If approved, construction will begin this year and it is hoped the centre, which will cater for about 24,000 students, will be open by 2021.

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