Eikon and Balmoral Park are borne of a history steeped in tradition, inspiration and development, beginning over 100 years ago in 1854.
Balmoral and the King's Hall
Panorama of the King's Hall - 1933
In 1891, the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society appealed to its members and the general public for funds to purchase new premises as they had outgrown their current site at Belfast Corporation Markets. Suitable land sites were considered at Bloomfield, Fortwilliam Park, Andersonstown, Turf Lodge, Ulsterville, Castlereagh Road, Ballymacarret, Ormeau Road and Antrim Road. However the most favoured was the land at Balmoral. Agreement to purchase the 32-acre Balmoral site was made in 1894. Work on the site began in 1896 and was finished for the opening of the first Balmoral Show on the 30th June 1896.
The King's Hall building was designed by Leitch and Partners, Glasgow, built in 1933 by J & R Thompson, Belfast and opened by the Duke of Gloucester on 29th May 1934. The King's Hall was the largest exhibition venue in Northern Ireland and was the only large concert venue in Northern Ireland until the turn of the century. Many acts and bands such as the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, David Guetta and PINK just to name a few have performed at the venue.
The King's Hall is also a famous boxing venue. Rinty Monaghan boxed several times in the hall. A blue plaque was unveiled in his memory at the hall in 2007. In 1985, Barry McGuigan made his first title defence against Bernard Taylor having fought at the venue on six previous occasions. Both boxers have become synonymous with the venue. Other famous bouts to have taken place in the hall include Ray Close's rematch with Chris Eubank in 1994, and Dave McAuley's two fights with Fidel Bassa in 1987 and 1988. Other high profile boxers to have fought at the venue include: Tyson Fury, Wayne McCullough, and Amir Khan.
The King's Hall building closed its doors on 30 June 2012.
Eikon Exhibition Centre at Balmoral Park, Sprucefield - 2016
Outgrowing the King’s Hall venue, in June 2012 the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society voted to purchase and develop a new venue, Balmoral Park. Balmoral Park is a 65-acre events park located in Sprucefield, Lisburn, around 10 miles from the King's Hall site.
The Balmoral Show was relocated and opened on the 15th May 2013 and is now one of the largest events in the province of Ireland.
Northern Ireland’s largest bespoke exhibition and events centre, the Eikon Exhibition Centre opened in December 2015.
Further building development is scheduled for 2017 which will increase the indoor event space capacity to over 10,000sqm, by far the largest in Northern Ireland.
We look forward to welcoming you all to the Eikon at Balmoral Park and continuing our long history of success in the events industry.
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