Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Public tours of Stormont extended

Speaker William Hay MLA with Melanie Sharrod, from the Park Avenue Hotel, and Janice Gault, of the Northern Ireland Hotels Federation, in the Great Hall at Parliament Buildings, Belfast (Presseye)

More people can now enjoy guided tours of Parliament Buildings at Stormont after public access was extended.

In a bid to give the people of Northern Ireland greater access to the Assembly and their MLAs, public tours will take place throughout July and August.

In the past, most tours had to be pre-arranged by an Assembly member.

All visitors can now see the Assembly Chamber, Great Hall and Senate Chamber while experiencing a taste of the building's history and architecture.

The Stormont Estate is open for picnics and walks through the grounds including access to the Peace Garden and the Mo Mowlam children's park.

"This building belongs to the people of Northern Ireland and we are keen to share its history and beauty with as many people as we can," William Hay, Speaker of the Assembly said.

"Hardly a week goes by without visitors being here from another part of the world and we also want more people from across the globe to come and see the building, and learn more about its history and architecture. It should be an integral part of a visit to Northern Ireland.

"These new tours will give people a real opportunity to see where their MLAs debate the big issues of the day and work to improve Northern Ireland for all of us. Hopefully, it will also encourage more people to come back and engage with their MLAs when the Assembly is considering issues they feel strongly about."

Tours are free of charge and will run every hour between 10.00am and 3.00pm, Monday to Friday.

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