Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Wheel to stop turning at City Hall

There’s been mixed reaction to news that the Belfast Wheel is due to turn for the last time next month in the grounds of City Hall.

Owners, Great City Attractions, are to cease operating on April 11 and the company say there are no plans at present to relocate on a different site.

South Belfast MLA, Dr Alasdair McDonnell, has slammed the decision, describing the wheel as one of Northern Ireland’s major tourist attractions and “a great stimulus to the local economy”.

“Over the years it has become an iconic piece of the city’s landscape and has been held in high esteem by the people of Belfast, who were very proud of having such a monumental feature on their doorstep,” he said.

However, the Belfast Titanic Society, which has always been unhappy that the wheel is placed so close to the Titanic Memorial, has welcomed the news.

It has described its positioning as “a blight on the memorial to Belfast men who died in the Titanic disaster of 1912”.

Society chairman, Una Reilly, said they had been campaigning for the past year, to ensure that planning permission for the wheel was not extended into late 2011.

“We have had worldwide support for our campaign to have the Wheel moved to another location,” she said.

“A few months ago we met with World Tourist Attractions, the operators of the Wheel, to convey our hurt and dismay at the continued presence of what we view to be a fun fair attraction.”

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