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BELFAST PROPERTY EXPERT MICHAEL CHANDLER MARKS 10 YEARS IN BUSINESS

BELFAST PROPERTY EXPERT MICHAEL CHANDLER MARKS 10 YEARS IN BUSINESS

An impressive 380% growth, new territories acquired and the creation of over 20 jobs marks an incredible 10 years for property expert Michael Chandler and wife Laura.

The last decade has been an unpredictable one for the Northern Irish property market. Prices have fluctuated, new trends introduced, and many areas across the province have experienced major rejuvenation.

During all this, Michael Chandler has worked hard to establish himself and the agency as one of Northern Ireland’s most well-respected and forward-thinking property agents challenging the perceived model of estate agency. This has resulted in achieving an impressive 380% client base growth, expansion into new territories, East Belfast, South Belfast and all over County Down; plus, the introduction of a mortgage and insurance division.

Identifying an opportunity for growth during the worst of the economic downturn, when property values fell by as much as 40%, Michael and his team helped to steer vendors and landlords through the storm; as well as advancing the business.

Now with the property market making a recovery to pre-2007 levels, Northern Ireland has demonstrated remarkable resilience and has been reported as the ‘best performing’ region in the UK. Michael Chandler Estate Agents based on the Ormeau Road, has been at the forefront of this recovery.

Managing Director, Michael Chandler, says his company’s approach to estate agency “very proactive” and has emphasised a change in mood from the dour predictions of ten years ago. He said: “When I launched Michael Chandler Estate Agents a decade ago, I had two young children with two more to come. I wanted to ensure I had a well-respected and trusted business to ensure their future was bright as possible, and by setting out to improve the opinion people have of Estate Agents seemed like the perfect place to start.

“We have come a long way since then, and I’m proud to say that Michael Chandler Estate Agents is flourishing! Through winning scores of endorsements from customers and expert peers, it goes to show the dedication of the staff in making my initial vision a reality, and I feel so grateful to be the captain of this particular ship.”

Northern Ireland’s property market is experiencing something of a boom now, and Michael Chandler Estate Agents is confident it will stay ahead of the curve.

Michael adds: “Going forward we have a positive outlook to the property market in Northern Ireland. We also have plans in place to expand the team, services and territories with additional investment into the Michael Chandler brand.  I strongly believe that our approach is unique, and we will keep looking at ways to push the boundaries, simplify the process of buying and selling and ensure that we continue to strive for excellence.”

MAC TAKES THE REINS OF THE CAFÉ/BAR  MARKING A NEW CHAPTER

MAC TAKES THE REINS OF THE CAFÉ/BAR MARKING A NEW CHAPTER

This month marks a new chapter for the MAC, Belfast’s leading cultural venue, as it officially opens its all-new café/bar to be operated independently, as part of its current four-step corporate strategy. This latest development has also enabled the creation of 19 additional hospitality roles within the business.

Previously managed by third-party contractors, this is the first time since the MAC’s inception in 2012 that the café/bar area will provide a direct revenue stream for the organisation and will be managed by its newly appointed hospitality team, including Head Chef, Terry Quinn and Owen Ferguson as Café/Bar and Hospitality Manager.

Bringing years of culinary experience to the MAC, Head Chef Terry will be launching a completely new menu to refresh the café bar offer. From the introduction of breakfast serving from 8.30am, to a new children’s menu and pre-theatre sharing platters, there will be something for the broad range of visitors that the MAC attracts. Plus, the MAC has launched a new wine list supplied by Direct Wine Shipments and launched a new smartphone interval drinks order system so that theatre goers can place their interval order with the greatest of ease, avoiding the usual queue.

The new café/bar also complements the MAC’s other commercial activities, such as the roll out of its innovative Luminaire Club, that transforms the theatre space into an intimate jazz-club experience complete with table service. This new experience gives the MAC the added flexibility to create event-specific promotions such as a Mother’s Day Brunch on the 31st March. Owen is confident that the he can build upon the visitor experience by further moving the MAC’s hospitality offering beyond the traditional theatre-style service.

Anne McReynolds, MAC Chief Executive said: “Taking our café bar in-house is a big move for us, not least in doubling the size of our current staff team, but it presents a huge opportunity for the organisation.  From a customer care point of view, we want to get closer to our customers – offering them eating and drinking experiences that better complement their whole MAC experience – whilst also making sure that the first person you meet in the MAC is a welcoming and informed member of our team, which is very important to us.

“Some people might ask, why now? Not many people may know that the MAC is a charity and just like every other charity, we must work hard to raise the money needed to survive and grow in the long term. This is a very positive and significant step for the MAC, as we are acutely aware that we need to keep making strides towards a sustainable model that not only involves public funding but continues to maximise the ways in which we can increase self-generated income.”

The MAC’s café/bar is open daily from 8.30am until late. Breakfast is served from 8:30am – 12 noon, and last orders for lunch are at 4pm. The bar is open late on show nights and from 30 March, the MAC will also be serving its new pre-theatre sharing plates to enjoy before the show.

For more information and to view the new menus please visit: https://themaclive.com/your-visit

‘BOUNCERS’ IS THE RAUCOUS NEW COMEDY AT THE MAC… JUST DON’T WEAR TRAINERS!

‘BOUNCERS’ IS THE RAUCOUS NEW COMEDY AT THE MAC… JUST DON’T WEAR TRAINERS!

This season’s offering at the MAC is already getting people talking, as John Godber’s hit play Bouncers comes to town for a three-week extended run. The show is a co-production between the MAC and Big Telly; starting on Saturday 30 March.

Set over the course of one night in a 1980s Belfast nightclub, giving it a distinctive Northern Irish flavour, Bouncers is a darkly funny play about the characters and shenanigans of an 80’s Belfast disco, as seen through the eyes of the club’s doormen.

Quick-witted and at times close to the bone, this rollercoaster of a play features four of Belfast’s finest comedic actors – Ciaran Nolan, Conor Grimes, Martin Maguire and Chris Robinson – who play all the parts. All the familiar characters from a typical night on the tiles make an appearance, from the cheesy DJ, to the kebab-shop proprietor and, of course, the foul-mouthed bouncers themselves.

As always with the MAC, you can expect something a little different, as all the action takes place within the exclusive Luminaire Club, transforming the theatre space into an intimate jazz-club experience complete with table service.

The MAC’s Creative Director, Simon Magill said: “Bouncers has been described as one of the funniest plays written in the last 40 years, but with the creative direction of Big Telly’s Zoe Seaton and experienced cast members like Conor Grimes, Ciaran Nolan, Marty Maguire and Chris Robinson, this promises to be a no-holds barred theatre experience.

It’s a play that is unapologetically provocative, remaining true to John Godber’s original script. However, we’ve relocated the action to a Belfast nightclub, with an evocative 80’s soundtrack that many people will relate to.

You’ll be immersed in the 80s vibe and enjoy the extra special experience of our Luminaire Club, where we’ve played with the flexibility of our theatre space creating something very special for audiences. With this intimate club setting serving as a backdrop, this fast-paced, rollercoaster of a show will have you laughing one minute, then questioning if attitudes have really changed since 80s Belfast.

The show will run from Saturday 30th March until Saturday 20th April, but with tickets set to sell out fast, book now to avoid disappointment! Avail of discount prices of up to 25% when you book multiple events in advance. This also applies to premium cabaret tickets which will allow for the full nightclub experience!

APPRENTICE STAR LAUNCHES NORTHERN IRELAND’S FIRST MAKEUP & BEAUTY AWARDS

APPRENTICE STAR LAUNCHES NORTHERN IRELAND’S FIRST MAKEUP & BEAUTY AWARDS

Apprentice star Grainne McCoy is gearing up for the launch of Northern Ireland’s first Makeup & Beauty Awards on Sunday 7 April. Nominations from the public have been received with the aim to recognise and applaud a new class of quality talent in Northern Ireland, celebrating the success and exemplary work within this thriving creative industry.

The Makeup & Beauty Awards wants to shed light on those creatives who work tirelessly behind the scenes, honouring the work of those in the forgotten sectors, including makeup artistry, beauticians, online influencers, nail technicians and much more.

Hosted by Grainne, along with legendary Belfast Drag Queen Lady Portia, the awards will be taking place in the iconic Titanic Building, Belfast. The decadent black-tie awards will include a red-carpet champagne reception, formal dinner, awards ceremony and afterparty with an appearance from the popular Sugartown Road Band.

Grainne explained her motivation for the awards ceremony saying: “We’ve had huge growth across Ireland in recent years, and there just isn’t enough opportunity for them to be recognised and acknowledged. There’s an abundance of talented creatives not being recognised in the NI Makeup and Beauty Community and I wanted to shine a light on those people.

“The Makeup and Beauty industry is at its peak now. Professional work is often celebrated, but without recognition in the form awards. This is something that I am passionate about transforming – we need to ensure these artists and creatives are celebrated, just like those in other industries would be.”

Finalists have now been announced and feature a range of categories including Bridal Makeup Artist of the Year, Online Influencer of The Year – Makeup & Beauty, Theatrical & Media Makeup Artist of The Year and Makeup & Beauty Business Person Of The Year.

Tickets the Makeup & Beauty Awards 2019 are now available at www.makeupandbeautyawards.com/

ON THE RIGHT TRACK FOR YOUNG VOLUNTEER WHO WINS TOP PRIZE AT NATIONAL AWARDS CEREMONY

ON THE RIGHT TRACK FOR YOUNG VOLUNTEER WHO WINS TOP PRIZE AT NATIONAL AWARDS CEREMONY

Belfast train enthusiast Matthew Wilson has won “Young Volunteer of the Year” at the annual ceremony of the Heritage Railway Association.  Matthew who is 23 years old, is a volunteer at Whitehead Railway Museum. Despite being diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome (autism), he never lets this get in his way.

Matthew has become a well-respected team member and he is regularly complimented by Museum guests and colleagues for his ability to conduct enjoyable guided tours at Whitehead Railway Museum as well as being a friendly and charismatic steward.

The recently introduced Lord Faulkner Young Volunteer of the Year prize is to give nationwide recognition to a young person who is taking on the responsibility for driving various schemes within railway preservation forward.

Lord Faulkner, the HRA President, who sponsored the award, commented it was vital that the wider railway heritage movement cherished its young volunteers. He said: “Many of those enthusiasts who founded the railway preservation movement are now past retirement age and it is important that we look to the future and harness the talents of the next generation. There was vast competition for this award from some of the leading railways in Britain but I am pleased to say that Matthew was a worthy winner.”

Speaking on his success Matthew said: “I am delighted to have received the award but this would not have happened without the support, encouragement and leadership of the team at Whitehead.”

Matthew’s dad David and mum Ellen who accompanied him to the awards evening in Birmingham on Saturday said: “Matthew does not let this disability prevent him from pursuing his love of steam trains. He is a proud volunteer at Whitehead Railway Museum and gets considerable enjoyment and satisfaction from carrying out his duties as a tour guide.”

General Manager of Whitehead Railway Museum, Siobhan Dillon said, “We are delighted to have Matthew as part of our team. We have guests visit us from around the world who often compliment Matthew’s enthusiasm for steam trains. We are very proud of his successes and to be recognised at National level is extra special. Congratulations Matthew!”