£100m Titanic Visitor Attraction Planned For Belfast Waterfront

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 14 August 2005
Shows an artist's impression of Belfast harbour at night, with a ship outlined in lights.

The Ghost Ship proposed for Belfast's Thompson Dry Dock. Courtesy Belfast City Council/NITB

Proposals are being put forward for a £100m visitor attraction that will commemorate the story of Titanic in her birthplace, Belfast.

The concept encompasses all the key historic areas associated with the building of the ill-fated ship, meaning the Titanic Quarter would be safeguarded as part of the attraction. The centrepiece building would cover 11 acres and be based on the slipway where Titanic and her sister ships were built.

“The Council’s goal of marking Titanic’s birthplace in the ship’s home city is now one step closer,” said Belfast City Councillor Diane Dodds. “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.”

Shows a black and white photo of huge steel scaffolds surrounding an ocean liner.

The Arrol gantries, which could be partially recreated as part of the scheme. Courtesy Belfast City Council/NITB

A report and feasibility study has been presented to Belfast City Council’s Tourism Sub-Committee and is to be presented to the full Council on September 1, 2005. The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) is also enthusiastic and working towards bringing the new attraction into life.

“Over the past nine months,” said Alan Clarke, NITB Chief Executive, “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 far all of Northern Ireland. The concept captures the imagination of people throughout Northern Ireland and interest within the international marketplace.”

Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices and the Hamilton and Alexander Dry Docks would be included in the project. Thompson Dry Dock would be brought back to life with a ‘Ghost Ship’ – a unique light-sculpture of Titanic visible across the Belfast harbour skyline. In addition, a large sculpture park and hotel complex are proposed.

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