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Our venues

2 Royal Avenue

  • Opening hours

    Our opening hours are 10am to 6pm, Monday to Sunday. The coffee shop closes at 5.30pm.

  • The venue

    We’ve transformed 2 Royal Avenue (the former Tesco building) into a meanwhile use city centre space in a new approach to experiential tourism and culture in the city. The opening of this venue marks the beginning of an exciting upscaled programme of culture and creativity for the city between 2022 and 2024.

    Delivering on many of the ambitions of our cultural strategy, 2 Royal Avenue will host a wide variety of events and experiences delivered in partnership with the city’s cultural sector.

  • Come on in

    The space has been designed to create a sense of calm and wonder. Surrounded with plant life and bespoke artworks by Irish street artist Decoy, 2 Royal Avenue is also a place to come in and take some time out, look around or simply grab a coffee and a bite to eat in the coffee shop.

  • Things to see and do

    Check our current programme of activities including:

    • yoga and well-being sessions
    • visual art and exhibitions
    • creative workshops
    • weekly family-friendly events and activities
    • lunchtime arts and music

    To book your place at any sessions or for information on what’s on at 2 Royal Avenue, go to 2 Royal Avenue guide to what's on (link opens in a new window).

  • Getting there

    • 2 Royal Avenue is in a central city centre location, accessible via Metro and Glider routes.
    • Bus and train stations serving the wider Northern Ireland area are a short walk away. Visit the Translink website (link opens in new window) for bus and train timetables.
    • Accessible parking spaces are available on Castle Place and Donegal Place.
    • There is a bicycle parking rack outside the venue.
  • Accessibility

    • There is an accessible toilet on site.
    • Wheelchairs are available for our guests visiting the venue. These are free of charge to borrow but are on a first-come, first-served basis.
    • The venue has a sensory dome for visitors with sensory issues or anyone who needs a quiet play space.
    • There is light and sound display within the dome and fidget toys and headphones are available on request.
    • Assistance dogs are permitted across all areas.
    • Visitors can access a quiet room if they need to.
    • The venue entrance is on flat ground for easy access for those with accessibility needs.
  • What's on next?

    We’re planning an exciting programme of activities from April until 30 June 2022, including music, exhibitions, theatre, talks, well-being activity and family-friendly events.

    View 2 Royal Avenue events

  • Embracing the Giant Spirit

    We ran a pilot project from November 2021 until March 2022 funded through Tourism NI’s Market Led Product Development Programme to enhance the visitor experience within Belfast and Northern Ireland in support of the Northern Ireland Embrace a Giant Spirit campaign (link opens in new window).

    We will continue to provide experiences that support and incorporate Embrace a Giant Spirit so that visitors to our city will experience the best that Belfast has to offer.

  • History of the building

    2 Royal Avenue was designed by WJ Barre between 1864 and 1869. Originally the building was the head office of the Provincial Bank of Ireland.

    Barre was a prolific Irish architect who built many well-known buildings in Ireland in a Gothic Revival style. His best known works include the Albert Memorial Clock and Ulster Hall. When Barre died following a short by illness in 1867 at the age of 37, architecture firm Turner and Williamson completed the building.

    The impressive seven-bay fa├žade is missing an elaborate sculpture that was intended for the pediment. A key feature is the beautiful, circular dome over an octagonal arcade. It is supported by corbelled columns that lead up to a Gothic gallery.

    In the 1990s, the building was converted into a Tesco Metro store, with architects from the firm WDR and RT Taggart restoring the building.

  • Venue usage

    The events programme at 2 Royal Avenue is fully booked until 30 June 2022. Currently we are working on a longer term operating model for this venue.

    To ask about booking the venue for an event after 30 June, please email culture@belfastcity.gov.uk for an expression of interest (EOI) form. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate requests. But we will keep your EOI on file and contact you when longer term plans are confirmed.

  • Coffee shop

    The coffee shop serves a range of indulgences including Fairtrade hot drinks and delicious sweet treats prepared by local bakers. With plenty of space and comfortable seating, come on in and enjoy our new public space.

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