27/03/2008

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.

The public/private project was to be at the centre of the redevelopment of the Titanic Quarter, promoting the city's maritime history and while more than two-thirds of the funding for the project have already been pledged by the Government, along with Titanic Quarter Limited and Belfast Harbour Commissioners - there's still a shortfall.

The project then failed to reach the funding shortlist for the Lottery's Living Landmarks £25m Fund in October 2007, so now the project promoter, Titanic Quarter Ltd, has approached the council to use taxpayers' cash to help make the project happen in time for the 100th anniversary in 2012.

Mike Smith, Chief Executive, Titanic Quarter Ltd, delivered a presentation to a special meeting of the policy and resources committee this month.

He explained that the Titanic signature project is designed to feature exhibitions and rides in a glass fronted building twice the size of Belfast City Hall.

A final decision on whether to invest the cash is to be taken at a full Belfast City Council meeting within two months.

Ulster Unionist Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Jim Rogers backed investing public money into the huge project.

"To me it will be public money well spent, we are custodians of the public purse and we are not just going to throw money at a project that we think will be a white elephant.

"But I think in 20 or 30 years people will look back and say the city fathers showed good leadership in a project that will help transform Belfast."

(BMcC)


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25 May 2007
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30 March 2005
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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’.
19 October 2007
Funding Blow For Titanic Project
Belfast's Titanic Signature Project - showcasing the city's maritime and industrial heritage – and likely to cost an estimated £90m, has suffered a setback.