Belfast Wheel Goes?
Since the London Eye opened in time for the millennium in 2000, wheels have been springing up all over the place. In some cases they have proven to be more popular with we visitors than the authorities. Such seems to be the case in Belfast where the wheel that nestles next to the City Hall may be closing.
Like the London Eye it was a temporary feature. Like the London Eye it has become one of the big draws for tourists. Like the London Eye, it has been under some threat. In this case it is the Environment Agency who don’t want it positioned next to the City Hall. And that is why the lease has been held up. Now the owners, Great City Attractions, have had enough of the messing about by the planners.
So who wants it to stay?
Well the News Letter called it the focal point of Belfast in yesterday’s paper. The Telegraph called it a major tourist attraction. Visitors liked it and the city council seems to have wanted it provided it could be relocated. After all it was originally due to be there for just 6 months after its opening in October 2007.
So it closes at 6pm on April 11th after lasting more than 2 years after it was supposed to have closed.
So who objected to its staying?
The Belfast Titanic Society for one. They claimed the wheel obscured the Titanic memorial. Negotiations then took place about re-siting it but the owners of the wheel have seemed to have had enough of the shenanigans and have decided to pull out.
Can’t it be sited elsewhere? Is there no other vacant spot in the whole of Belfast? Even the society was willing to discuss moving it elsewhere. Removing a tourist attraction, and a successful one at that, seems short sighted when visitors would probably visit and spend money at both.