Titanic attraction looms large on the Belfast horizon
8 August 2005
The first steps have been taken towards the development of a £100 million visitor attraction to bring the story of Titanic `home` to Belfast.
Belfast City Council and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board this week have been given first sight of a vision for the Titanic Signature Project – an iconic, world-class attraction bringing together all the key historic sites associated with Titanic.
The detailed concept, and accompanying economic feasibility study, were presented in a report to Belfast City Council`s Tourism Sub-Committee Committee yesterday (Wednesday August 10), and will be presented to the full Council on September 1.
Commenting on the overall concept, Councillor Diane Dodds, Chairman of Belfast City Council’s Tourism Sub-Committee pointed out that, over the past year, Belfast City Council and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) had taken on the challenge of bringing a Titanic attraction to life.
“The Council’s goal of marking Titanic’s birthplace in the ship’s home city is now one step closer. Finally and rightfully the city that gave birth to the ship has begun to acknowledge its part in the tale: this concept would celebrate the achievement that was Titanic, while also commemorating the tragedy and educating the world about our city’s role in the Titanic story,” said Councillor Dodds.
Commenting on the report, Alan Clarke, NITB Chief Executive said that the completion of this report means that Belfast is closer to establishing a world class attraction that will compete against the best in the world.
“Over the past nine months, a widespread consultation process has garnered support from all quarters and has shown that an attraction based on the theme of Titanic holds great economic, cultural and regeneration opportunities for all of Northern Ireland. The concept captures the imagination of people throughout Northern Ireland and interest within the international marketplace.”
The concept put forward to the Council and Tourist Board would encompass and safeguard all the listed areas within Titanic Quarter associated with the world’s most famous ocean liner. It envisages a centrepiece building – three times the size of the City Hall – based on the slipway where Titanic and her sister ships were built. The adjacent Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices, the Hamilton and Alexander Dry Docks also are included, while the Thompson Dry Dock would be brought back to life with the creation of a `Ghost Ship` – a unique light-sculpture of the ship that would be visible across the Belfast harbour skyline. A large-scale industrial sculpture park would sit alongside a hotel, conference and convention centre.
The report outlining the concept has involved extensive input from the public and private sector as well as the community. Suggestions from the general public have included ideas and support for the project from as far apart as Australia and the United States. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Industry (DETI), with the Strategic Investment Board, now will be investigating possible delivery options with Harcourt Developments/Titanic Quarter Ltd., who are promoting the site, and the Port of Belfast, the owners of the site.
Printer friendly version
Printer friendly version