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Stormont Estate

Part of Adjournment – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 7:15 pm on 19th January 2016.

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Photo of Andy Allen Andy Allen UUP 7:15 pm, 19th January 2016

I welcome the opportunity to speak in the debate. I place on record my thanks and appreciation to all the staff, inside the Building and outside on the estate, who work tremendously hard in making sure that these facilities are in great shape.

In the years since the Good Friday Agreement and the coming of relative peace, this estate and the Building have seen many events, such as the Red Bull Crashed Ice event, which brought many spectators from across Northern Ireland. It has also seen the Ulster centenary parade and the Brawl in the Hall event, when local boxing clubs, including an east Belfast boxing club, came into the Great Hall and put on a spectacular night of boxing.

Stormont estate is open to the public for recreation, walking and fitness trails, charitable events and use of the restaurant. As has been mentioned, we have a state-of-the-art playground that has all the facilities that you would expect to see in a playground. It has areas for parents to rest while watching their children, barbecue facilities and picnic tables. It is enclosed, fenced in and has CCTV that is monitored by the control room. The public can also avail themselves of tours of Parliament Buildings. That is an opportunity to showcase the magnificent Building and to learn about its history.

I also place on record my delight that this great Building is being made more accessible for those with disabilities. Indeed, we have seen more disabled car parking facilities at the east and west entrances since campaigning for me coming to the Assembly. I am aware that a paper on other modifications to the Building is going in front of the Assembly Commission. I welcome that. We must work together to ensure that these marvellous facilities are fully accessible to all. Promoting what is available and how to access it is key.