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Save Mandela Hall: Over 8,000 sign petition

Thousands oppose Queen's University Belfast's plans to demolish Mandela Hall and its sister venues to make way for an 'student centre'

By Jon Chapple on 25 Jan 2016

Randy Blythe, Lamb of God, Mandela Hall, Belfast, 12 June 2012, Jamie Hunter

Randy Blythe of Lamb of God performs at Mandela Hall in 2012

image © Jamie Hunter/Flickr

Over 8,000 people have signed a petition opposing the demolition of the Mandela Hall music venue in Belfast.

As of this morning (25 January) the petition, to Queen’s University Belfast, has garnered 8,320 signatures. The university plans to demolish Mandela Hall and its sister venues, The Speakeasy, Bar Sub and the Bunatee Bar – which the petition calls “some of [Northern Ireland’s] most iconic music venues” – make way for a new ‘integrated student centre’ at its campus in the Queen’s Charter area of the Northern Irish capital.

Queen’s has stated that the new student centre will be “an integrated hub for student-facing services, which will bring together [a] full range of support, advice, representational, developmental and commercial services. […] The project will redevelop the existing students’ union site to provide a new purpose built integrated student centre which addresses the identified accommodation needs, providing a stimulating and engaging environment for the undergraduate and postgraduate student population.”

It is not known whether the new student centre will host live music. A spokeswoman for Queen’s told IQ: “We are not in a position to comment further at this stage.”

Upcoming gigs at Mandela Hall include John Grant (27 January), Wolf Alice (4 March), The Cult (6 March), Peter Hook & The Light (31 March) and Jess Glynne (1 April).