To celebrate this historic moment a celebration event was held this week, with a day of family fun and local festivities.
Heather Thompson, Director for the National Trust in Northern Ireland said: “Belmont Tower has an amazing history dating back to the 1890s. It plays a central role in the local community and is a landmark building which people from across the city recognise.
“The Old Belmont School Preservation Trust has worked tirelessly with the local community since 1999 and oversaw an impressive restoration project which was completed in 2004. Since then Belmont Tower has been a hive of activity, offering classes, conference facilities, a coffee shop and a CS Lewis exhibition.
“It is very much business as usual for this landmark building and we are very proud to welcome Belmont Tower to the National Trust. We also look forward to working closely with the many friends and partners who make this such a special place.”
Guests and children were entertained by a day packed with activity including Phill’s farm and his animal friends ,providing the opportunity to get up close and personal with his farmyard favourites.
Taster sessions from Baby Sensory ran throughout the day along with face painting and balloon modelling. While National Trust Belfast Outdoors team, including rangers and gardeners, had lots of hands on activities for all ages.
Helen Brooker, Chairperson of The Old Belmont School Preservation Trust said:
“The Old Belmont School Preservation Trust’s vision was to see this landmark building restored to its former glory and brought back into use for the benefit of the local and wider community and future generations. Almost fourteen years on, to know the future of the building has been secured by the National Trust, whilst adhering to the original vision has made the many years of obstacles and problems worthwhile.
It is easy to forget the huge benefits a project like Belmont Tower has created but it means a beautiful building has been saved for all to appreciate. It provides an important focal point and venue for the immediate and wider community, it has created employment, supports local business and created opportunity for further innovation such as the C.S. Lewis Exhibition.
“The Trustees greatly appreciate the interest, support and encouragement of so many over the years and we all look forward to supporting and working with the National Trust as Belmont Tower moves forward under their care.”
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Pictured is Noel Thompson a past pupil at Belmont with Heidi Gillespie a P1 pupil from Belmont Primary School