from St Anne's

Belfast Cathedral Launches New Audio Guide!

Launch of new multilingual visitor experience at Belfast Cathedral

This morning, Belfast Cathedral were delighted to announce the launch of a new multilingual audio guide, with representatives from our two main funders from Tourism NI and the Friends of the Cathedral in attendance.

The new audio guide will allow this special building to become more open, accessible and engaging to both local people and international visitors. The guide takes visitors on a self-led journey through the Cathedral, revealing the stories behind the stones – and is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Polish, Mandarin and Italian, with a carefully selected local Belfast accent to provide authenticity for the English tour.

This project has been achievable through funding from Tourism NI’s Immersive Technology programme. The capital funding programme focuses on supporting projects which have at their core an immersive technology solution that creates compelling reasons for visitors to come to Northern Ireland as well as encourage them to stay longer and spend more.  Further funding was made available from the Friends of Belfast Cathedral, who were founded in 1894 with the aim of assisting the Dean and Cathedral Board in promoting interest in the Cathedral and knowledge of its history.

The project will allow visitors to the Cathedral to discover the stories of this space, and fully immerse themselves in the history of its walls through voice and music, leaving having had the feeling that they got a real sense of what Belfast Cathedral is and has been over the last 300 years, and the important role it has played within the wider city and to its residents.

The company who were successful in winning the tender were VOX Group, who have previously worked on projects in St Peter’s Basilica Rome and Stonehenge, amongst other high profile visitor attractions across the world.

Tourism and Visitor Services Manager, Helen Graham, said: “We are delighted to have received the funding for this project, without which it simply wouldn’t have been possible to create this fantastic multilingual guide for our beautiful cathedral. It is fantastic to be able to offer an engaging experience for our visitors, particularly those who are coming from overseas who previously would not have been able to connect with our space in the same way. Thank you to both of our funders for supporting this project and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors over the rest of the 2019 season and beyond.”

Caroline Bell, Tourism NI Capital Funding Team Manager, said: “The new multilingual audio guide at Belfast Cathedral is a fantastic addition to the visitor offering in Belfast, providing a unique way for residents of Northern Ireland and international visitors to fully immerse themselves in the history of its walls and uncover the stories behind them.

“We congratulate the team at Belfast Cathedral for their hard work in delivering a compelling new addition to their tourism product,” she added.

The audio guide is just one of the elements of a number of improvements to the visitor experience at Belfast Cathedral, including new interpretation throughout the building, the introduction of a Children’s Corner, and the upcoming launch of an innovative new trail for both families and schools to enjoy.

Belfast Cathedral is open to visitors through the year, Monday to Saturday 9am – 5pm, and on Sundays 1 – 3pm. There is a small admission fee which includes your audio guide, and this will contribute towards the upkeep of this important building and the ministry of Belfast Cathedral, all with the aim to continue to develop Belfast Cathedral as a shared space at the heart of the city.

From left to right; Tourism and Events Assistant Lorna Towns, Tourism and Visitor Services Manager Helen Graham, Dean Stephen Forde, Tourism NI representative Judith Henderson and Treasurer of the Friends of the Cathedral, Mike Johnston.