Irelands first Super Budget easyHotel has opened it’s doors to welcome guests this week, With an investment of £5 million, 60 jobs have been created during construction work which began on the 200 year old building Dax House over 18 month ago.
David Crowe and Kevin Baird, the two men behind this first super budget hotel in Belfast, are keen to point out that although a low cost option it won’t skimp on quality. The easyHotel model is designed to cater for the increasing number of travellers who want simple comfort, a central location and great value to allow them to get out to explore all the experiences cities have to offer.
Speaking about the hotel during construction, David said; “We believe Belfast is ready for this hotel and this brand. As a super budget hotel I’m very proud of the quality of this hotel, which will offer rooms at a reasonable price.
easyHotel Belfast has 81 bedrooms across four floors, free WIFI throughout, with the option of family rooms, double rooms, superior rooms and wheelchair accessible rooms. All bedrooms are air-conditioned, fully heated and have en-suite showers. TV, luggage storage, early check-in and late check-out are available at an additional cost.
The easyHotels brand is already well established across the UK and Europe with hotels in London, Manchester and Barcelona.
The easyHotel model follows easyJet where transactions are online or via mobile app. Book online easyhotel Belfast or booking.com
Thousands of people took to the streets of Belfast support the LGBT+ in the largest cross-community event in Northern Ireland. Belfast Pride parade, now in it’s 27th year the theme for this years parade was ‘Come Out For Change’.
While unlike the Republic of Ireland, Here in Northern Ireland there has been little or no progress on the issues that affect the LGBT community including Homophobia, Transphobia, Bullying, Gender Recognition Rights, Fertility Rights, Mental Health and Marriage Equality.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland director of Amnesty International, said the march is still very much a protest in Belfast.
"Pride is always the most colourful day of the year in Belfast. This year it is bigger and brighter than ever," he said.
Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK where same-sex marriage is not recognised.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) also took part in Belfast Pride for second time in uniform joining cross-border counterparts from Garda Síochána.
A serving police officer, said Pride 2017 was a highlight for many of his colleagues;
"Many of the PSNI LGBT Network have said that the public's reaction was one of the stand-out moments of their careers within the PSNI, and some of those officers are quite senior."
Thousands of same-sex marriage supporters have taken to the streets of Belfast to demonstrate their support for equal marriage rights in Northern Ireland.
The rally marks three years since the Republic of Ireland voted overwhelmingly in favour of equal marriage rights.
Northern Ireland is currently the only part of the British Isles which still denies same-sex couples the right to marry. LGBT rights in NI are currently in limo despite overwhelming public support and in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
During the most recent vote in November 2015, MLAs supported same-sex marriage, with a slim majority of 53 votes to 52.
However, it was blocked by the DUP using a measure known as a petition of concern.
Posting on social media ahead of the Love Equality NI rally, Labour MP Conor McGinn who is originally from South Armagh said: “I’m looking forward to traveling from sunny St Helens across to Belfast for the Love Equality rally this Saturday.
“We can’t guarantee the weather but we can guarantee a great day, a really important cause championing the rights of LGBT people in Northern Ireland.”
Earlier this month the St Helens Member of Parliament urged Theresa May’s Conservative, DUP backed government to “get of the fence” and support change ahead of the second reading of a private members bill calling for introduction of same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland.
Marches also took place in Northern Ireland’s second largest city Derry/Londonderry.
Stellify Media, the makers of Can't Touch This and Blind Date, need people to be part of the studio audience this week for a show called Chicken.
Filming dates are Wednesday, April 11 to Saturday April 21, except Sunday, April 15.
Attendees must be able to stand for periods of time during filming
In order to register people need to email email@example.com and they will be in touch to confirm the details.
Filming of the show is outside Belfast with return coach travel from Belfast City Centre will be provided. It will collect in Belfast at 12.30pm and return to the City Centre by 7pm.
You will be provided with a light lunch, glass of wine or beer, and a warm up show by Micky Bartlett.
Sainsbury’s has announced that it plans to boost the base rate of hourly pay across its stores from £8 to £9.20 as part of a £100m investment plan.
The retailer on Tuesday said that in London, it will increase the hourly rate of compensation to £9.80. The pay rises will mean that Sainsbury’s has increased the base rate of pay by 30 per cent, from £7.08 per hour back in 2015.
“The retail sector has never been more competitive and we know that our customers really value our colleagues and the excellent service they provide in our shops,” Sainsbury’s retail and operations director Simon Roberts said. “We believe the proposed changes will set us up to run the best shops in the industry, delivering the best possible service for our customers.”
As part of the investment, Sainsbury’s said that it would offer all of its 130,000 store staff new contracts with the aim of ensuring “consistency and fairness across all stores, regardless of age or length of service”.
It said that it would streamline operations, by reducing the number of role types from 22 to five: trading assistant; food services assistant; online assistant; general merchandise and clothing assistant; and services assistant. I will also get rid of a discretionary bonus scheme for hourly paid workers, and paid breaks.
Some workers currently get a discretionary bonus that’s performance linked, though not all. Breaks had up until now been paid and while workers will still be entitled to take breaks in compliance with the law, those will no longer be paid. A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s said that many other UK retailers already don’t pay staff for breaks.
The company said that “a small proportion of colleagues may be adversely impacted by these proposals” and that to support these it “plans to make top-up payments for 18 months to ensure that no colleague earns less than they do today during this time”.
A consultation on the proposed changes begins on Tuesday and will last over the coming months. If the plans are approved, staff will get the new rate of pay from September onwards, Sainsbury’s said.
Trade union Unite responded by saying that, for workers, the proposal does not look attractive.
“Our members will have to make a number of 'sacrifices' to secure this rate of pay which includes the removal of paid breaks and Sunday premium pay, as well as a number of changes to the attendance policy,” Bev Clarkson, the union’s acting national officer for food and drinks, said.
“Unite believes these ‘strings’ will offset any rise in basic pay. We will be holding a consultative ballot of our members at the end of the month,” she added.
“We are recommending rejection and will decide on the next steps after our members have expressed their views in the consultative ballot, which should be known by the end of April.”
Hollywood blockbuster Titanic turns 20 years old this year - and the Titanic Belfast is doing something incredible to celebrate.
The tourist attraction is holding a Movie Month, with a lineup of incredible events to mark the special occasion.
They're also offering free entry to anyone who shares the same name as the film's two lead characters.
So from November 19 to December 19, anyone who has the name Jack or Rose can enter the tourist attraction for free.
And different variants of the names, like Jacques and Rozycka, can also nab the offer.
See if your name is on the list here:
People hoping to get in on the deal should bring a birth certificate, passport or driving license to ensure their entry.
Titanic told the epic story between Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose (Kate Winslet) on the ill-fated ship.
It went on to win 11 Oscars after its release, including best film.
The rest of the location's Movie Month programme kicks off with a red-carpet movie-themed Titanic Afternoon Tea and Movie Experience on November 19 and again on December 19.
They're also hosting the Titanic Drive-In Movie Experience on November 29, where fans will get the chance to watch the movie under the stars at the exact spot where the original ship was designed, built, and launched.
For a full programme of events, and for full Terms and Conditions visit www.titanicbelfast.com
Q Radio has held the official opening of its state-of-the-art new headquarters in the heart of Belfast, in a £600,000 investment to renovate and kit out the station’s new base.
Launched by broadcasting icon Tony Blackburn alongside Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor Nuala McAllister, the opening event hosted guests from industry, commerce, community and political life to celebrate the beginning of a new era.
The Northern-Ireland wide Q Radio Group cites its ambitious growth plans as the reason for the move.
Now known as ‘QHQ’, the station’s brand new home in the Fountain Centre on College Street boasts three on air studios with Axia Fusion digital desks and a customised hydraulics console desk for the main studio, two news booths and a production studio as well as private offices for senior management, meeting rooms and a collaborative open floor space for the sales and support teams.
Robert Walshe, Managing Director and Head of Programmes at Q Radio said: “We’re thrilled to have welcomed so many people to the official launch of QHQ. It marks the dawning of another new chapter in the Q Radio journey.
“Just 18 months ago we took over a former Belfast commercial radio licence, and we’re very proud of the progress we’ve made in that time.
“I must thank radio legend Tony Blackburn and Belfast Lord Mayor Councillor McAllister for lending their support to us and for their kind words on the night, it was very much appreciated by the wider Q team.”
Mr Walshe continued: “I believe that our ambition as a station is now abundantly clear; we want to achieve greater market share across Northern Ireland and perhaps even beyond. The investment in our new HQ is both a statement of confidence in where we are as a brand, and also of intent, in terms of what we are aiming for.
“Being able to connect with our listeners, delivering the type of content they really want to listen will remain key to our success. That understanding coupled with the strength of our presenter line up and our commercial partnerships is what will allow us to continue to go from strength to strength. It’s a very exciting time for us,” he added.
Speaking at the launch, Tony Blackburn said: “I'm delighted to be in Belfast for the official opening of Q Radio’s new headquarters!
“The space is so impressive and the presenting talent is top class. I've been made to feel so welcome I might relocate to QHQ!”
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister said: “Belfast is a city that continues to grow and develop, a ‘Global City’ full of vibrancy, energy and vitality that attracts investors and visitors because it is a great place to work, visit and live.
“I am delighted that Q Radio have backed that belief by investing £600,000 in their new headquarters in the heart of Belfast - the happiest city in the UK according to the Office of National Statistics. Q Radio contributes to that ‘feel good’ feeling by broadcasting at so many events across Belfast so I hope that Q Radio will continue to spread happiness to their listeners, not just in Belfast but further afield.
“Q Radio’s relocation to the heart of Belfast will undoubtedly add to the progressively thriving landscape of the City Centre. My theme during my term as Lord Mayor is Global Belfast and it is investment to this level, as well as recognition from a broadcasting legend like Tony Blackburn, which reinforces Belfast’s position as a global city. I applaud them on their continued commitment to family friendly content across their output and wish them every success in their new QHQ,” she added.
Coinciding with the station’s first broadcast from QHQ in early Summer was the launch of QTV, allowing listeners to watch each show via the Q Radio website.
Visit www.goqradio.com for more news.
Northern Ireland’s second largest airport, City of Derry airport was forced to cancel all flights today after the building was hit by overnight flooding.
Heavy rainfall on Tuesday night caused a delude of water to enter the building.
A spokesperson for the airport advised passengers not to come to the airport and to contact their airline directly about their flights.
A spokesperson for Derry City and Strabane Council apologised for the inconvenience caused.
Other parts of the north west were also affected, with flooding causing the partial collapse of a bridge in Claudy.
The Met Office has since confirmed that two-thirds of the average rainfall for all of August came down in Northern Ireland on a night.
BELFAST's Botanic Gardens were awash with colour and culture as thousands descended on the tenth annual Belfast Mela this weekend.
Now in its milestone year the Belfast Mela is one of Northern Ireland's largest cultural events and organisers ArtsEkta hoped to attract over 30,000 people through the gates, however early indications suggested this years event was the biggest ever.
Festival goers were treated to a host of world and local musicians, dancers and artists as a way for people to learn about other cultures and celebrate diversity.
Visitors were also able to sample food from places as diverse as India, Spain, Poland, Mexico and Thailand at the Mela's international food market.
Celebrating a decade of diversity the festival has brought around quarter-of-a-million people together and speaking to the press ArtsEkta director Nisha Tandon said the team was "proud to have created this creative cultural meeting" showcasing "the benefits and vibrancy of our increasingly diverse society".
THE National Lottery is hunting for a EuroMillions UK Millionaire Maker winner - who is yet to claim their prize.
Players in Fermanagh and Omagh are being urged to check and double-check their unique EuroMillions UK Millionaire Maker code for the chance to become an instant millionaire.
Every week Millionaire Maker guarantees to create two UK millionaires – one on Tuesday and one on Friday – but the lucky winner from the draw on Tuesday April 5 2016 has still to check their ticket and claim their prize.
The search is now on to find the owner of the winning ticket which was bought in the District Council Area of Fermanagh and Omagh.
For every EuroMillions line played, UK players automatically receive a Millionaire Maker code printed on their ticket.
The winning code on April 5 was MGY489185 and the lucky ticket-holder has until 2 October, 2016 to claim their prize.
If no-one comes forward with the winning ticket before the prize claim deadline, then the prize money, plus all the interest it has generated, will go to help National Lottery-funded projects across the UK.
The National Lottery changes the lives of individuals as well as communities – players raise, on average, over £34 million for National Lottery-funded projects every week.
A National Lottery spokesperson said: “We’re desperate to find this mystery ticket-holder and unite them with their winnings – this amazing prize could really make a huge difference to somebody’s life.
“Being able to guarantee two UK millionaires every week with EuroMillions UK Millionaire Maker is fantastic and we’re urging everyone who bought a EuroMillions ticket in this area to check their old tickets again or look anywhere a missing ticket could be hiding, so that this prize can turn someone into the newest member of the lottery millionaire club.
“Try checking in the pockets of clothing, in wallets, bags and down the back of the sofa. We have the champagne on ice and our fingers crossed that the lucky winner comes forward to claim their win.”
With all National Lottery draws, players have 180 days from the day of the draw to claim their prize if they have the winning ticket. Anyone who has any queries or who believes they have the winning ticket for any of the National Lottery draws within the 180-day deadline should call the National Lottery Line on 0844 338 7551 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone concerned about lost or unchecked tickets may like to consider either setting up a National Lottery Direct Debit or playing online at www.national-lottery.co.uk. Numbers can be entered in advance and lucky winners are notified online if their numbers come up. For further information call 0845 912 5000 or visit www.national-lottery.co.uk
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