Belfast College of Technology, opened its door to students in September 1906. The College was the centerpiece of the development of further education in Belfast. Purpose built, it acted as a showpiece on a par with Belfast’s other prominent buildings of the era, including the Belfast City Hall, St. Anne’s Cathedral and the Presbyterian Assembly Buildings.
Known colloquially to the citizens of Belfast as “the Black Man Tech” or simply ‘the Tech”, the College has been the gateway to education and employment for thousands of skilled apprentices, students and trainees in ship building and engineering and industries such as ropes and linen. Most families in Belfast and indeed Northern Ireland can claim a connection. Famous artists, engineers, broadcasters, politicians and sporting personalities count as its alumni, but the real history of the College is the ordinary men and women entering further and higher education with hopes of improving their chances of gaining employment or seeking to develop their inherent talents.
Belfast College of Technology closed its doors for the last time as an educational establishment in summer 2011, as the Belfast Metropolitan College transferred to the Titanic Quarter of Belfast. History came full circle as the College, which educated thousands of shipyard apprentices, took up a location where they once worked became a part of a new renaissance in this quarter of the city.