The Committee was advised that a request had been received from a Member for the Council to consider putting in place plans to mark the Coronation weekend. Members would be aware that arrangements had already been made to provide an early May Bank Holiday on Monday 1st May, followed by a Bank Holiday to mark the Coronation on Monday 8th May.
Buckingham Palace had announced details of ceremonial, celebratory and community events which would take place between Saturday 6th and Monday 8th May.
The Coronation Service would take place at Westminster Abbey on Saturday 6th May. This is one of the designated days for flying the Union Flag by DCMS.
On Sunday, 7th May, the Coronation Big Lunch would take place and would be overseen and organised by the Eden Project, funded by The National Lottery. Its aim was to bring people together to boost community spirit, reduce loneliness and support charities and good causes. A special Coronation Concert would be held on the same date.
On Monday 8th May, members of the public would be invited to take part in The Big Help Out, which would encourage people to try volunteering for themselves and join the work being undertaken to support their local areas. This was being organised by The Together Coalition and a wide range of partners such as The Scouts, the Royal Voluntary Service and faith groups. The Big Help Out would highlight the positive impact volunteering has across communities.
A Coronation Emblem, specially designed for this occasion, represents the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the daffodil of Wales and the shamrock of Northern Ireland.
Proposed Programme of Events
Saturday 6th May – Coronation Service
It was proposed to erect a large screen on the west lawn in the grounds of the City Hall to provide a public space for those who wish to view the Coronation Service and ceremonial processions. In keeping with the community theme of bringing people together, a marquee would be placed on the east lawn to provide family activities through a programme of animation such as craft making and a photo-booth.
Sunday 7th May – The Coronation Big Lunch
It was proposed to host a Coronation Big Lunch at the City Hall, to primarily acknowledge the role of volunteering across Belfast which would also reflect other themes of community and diversity. This community lunch would be informal in nature to provide a platform for local people to come together whilst encouraging communities in the city who wished to join in by holding events across Belfast.
Monday 8th May – The Big Help Out
Given the theme of this day, to highlight the positive impact volunteering had across communities, it was not proposed to hold any events at City Hall. Rather, it would provide the opportunity for Civic Dignitaries and councillors more generally to visit local areas to volunteer or see volunteering in action.
The Committee was asked to note that local organisations could apply to the National Lottery ‘Awards for All’ to mark this occasion through its small grants programme. Projects were required to meet the priorities and eligibility criteria set out for this programme - http://www.tnlcommunityfund.org.uk/northern-ireland.
i. approved the proposed programme of events over the bank holiday weekend of Saturday 6th May to Monday 8th May 2023;
ii. approved costs in the region of £25,000 to deliver this programme; and
iii. agreed to illuminate the City Hall on the evening of Sunday, 7th May, 2023.