Titanic Attraction Looms Large

£100m tourist project planned for Belfast's docklands

Plans for a ‘world-class’ Titanic tourist attraction have been unveiled by Belfast City Council and the Northern Irish Tourist Board.


The £100m redevelopment of the city’s Titanic Quarter would include a full-scale model of the liner, exhibition galleries and education centre, themed industrial sculpture park, hotel and conference facilities.


Diane Dodds, chairman of
Belfast City Council’s Tourism sub-committee said that the goal of marking Titanic’s birthplace was one step closer.


‘Finally and rightfully the city that gave birth to the ship has begun to acknowledge its part in the tale,’ she said. ‘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.’


The building at the centre of the concept would be three times the size of City Hall and based on the slipway where Titanic and her sister ships were built. It would involve the partial re-creation of the great steel Arrol gantries, which were specially built to allow for the construction of the Olympic class liners.


The central attraction would also be linked with the other historical sites associated with the Titanic story, running for more than a mile along the
shore of
Belfast Lough
, thus safeguarding listed areas within Titanic Quarter.


The concept includes the adjacent Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices, the
and Alexander Dry Docks and the Thompson Pump House and Dry Dock.  The latter site, the Thompson Dry Dock, would be brought back to life with the creation of the ‘Ghost Ship’, a unique light sculpture of the Titanic in outline, which would be visible across the
Belfast harbour skyline.


The detailed concept, and accompanying economic feasibility study, will be presented to the full Belfast City Council on September 1.


Alan Clarke, NITB chief executive, said that
Belfast was closer to establishing a world class attraction.

‘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.’