20/06/2019

Belfast Buoys Welcomed To Titanic Quarter

The Belfast Buoys have been officially welcomed to their new permanent home in Titanic Quarter.

Originally located in Cathedral Gardens, which become known as 'Buoy Park', the landmarks were given to Belfast City Council by the Commissioners of Irish Lights in 1983.

Regeneration of the area around Ulster University and the development of Titanic Quarter prompted plans for the buoys to find a new home near Abercorn Basin, as part of the Department for Communities' Streets Ahead Project. 

In January 2019, the landmarks were taken to the Irish Lights headquarters in DunLaoghaire for restoration. The distinctive buoys - which celebrate the city's maritime heritage – took up residence on the quays just as the Tall Ships arrived for the Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival.

Each buoy weighs around three tonnes and is made of thick steel plates riveted together. They are hollow structures, filled with air to allow them to float, and would have been secured in place by mooring chains, attached to a cast iron sinker sitting on the seabed.

Attending an event to welcome the distinctive buoys, Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Peter McReynolds, said: "It is wonderful to visit the Belfast Buoys and to see these iconic symbols of Belfast at their new home. Given their proximity to the water, in such a popular area for locals and tourists, their move to Titanic Quarter is very fitting.
News Image
"Belfast City Council, along with our city partners, is committed to increasing the value of tourism by £500 million by 2021 as part of the Belfast Agenda, the community plan for the city. Capitalising on our rich maritime heritage is an important part of the mix, and relocating the buoys to the Maritime Mile will assist by adding to the area's growing appeal to visitors."

James Eyre, Commercial Director of Titanic Quarter Ltd, added: "We are delighted that these iconic landmarks have been relocated to Titanic Quarter and we are very grateful for the support and dedication from our partners; Titanic Foundation, Belfast City Council, Department for Communities, Belfast Harbour and Commissioners of Irish Lights, for delivering such a fantastic project. Known for its rich maritime heritage, Titanic Quarter attracts 1 million visitors annually and has acquired the status of a premier global destination for leisure and business tourism. We look forward to welcoming more visitors to the Buoys over the summer months."

Kerrie Sweeney, Chief Executive of Titanic Foundation, added: "We would like to thank the Commissioners of Irish Lights who have restored the buoys and repainted them in their traditional navigational colours. The three buoys are estimated to be around 80 years old, and would have been used by mariners to find a safe channel to and from port. Similar buoys would have been used in Belfast Harbour, marking the edges of the narrow Victoria Channel.  The Buoys are an amazing addition to the Maritime Mile and it's a fantastic opportunity for everyone to explore the city's rich maritime heritage."

Mark O'Donnell from the Department for Communities said: "The Department is delighted to assist in the relocation of the Belfast Buoys from their old location in Cathedral Gardens to their new home in the Titanic Quarter. The new installation will complement the other unique attractions that are part of the Maritime Mile whilst also allowing for the redevelopment of Cathedral Gardens into an exciting new civic space."



(JG/CM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

30 March 2005
Rare 'Titanic gem' found in Belfast
A rare piece of Titanic history has been uncovered during Belfast City Council's ‘Titanic - Made in Belfast’ event this week.
18 March 2003
Lord Mayor launches Titanic celebrations
Talks and storytelling, walking and boat tours, and a special commemorative exhibition are among the elements being brought together over eight days to commemorate ‘Titanic - Made In Belfast’.
25 May 2007
Executive backs lottery application for Titanic project
Tourism Minister Nigel Dodds announced support for an application to the Big Lottery Fund for £25 million towards the £90 million Titanic Signature Project. Today’s announcement followed yesterday’s Northern Ireland Executive meeting, where agreement was given to proceed with the application.
27 March 2008
Lifeline Thrown To Sinking Titanic
It would be a real disaster if the Titanic were to 'sink again'. That's the reason Belfast City Council is set to investing £10m of ratepayers' money to co-fund a Titanic tourist attraction. The aim is to ensure the £90m Titanic Signature Project will be built by 2012 - after it struggled to secure the final funding needed.
18 October 2007
Titanic Quarter To Revive City's Heritage
Belfast is set to finally commemorate its full maritime and industrial heritage. It has just been revealed that one of the main objectives of a new initiative, the ‘Titanic Signature Project’, is to record and celebrate the city’s great maritime and industrial heritage.