Page last updated at 16:58 GMT, Thursday, 3 September 2009 17:58 UK

Titanic museum designs unveiled

Artistic impressions of new museum
The museum is set to feature a climb-aboard replica of the ship

Designs showing how Southampton's new museum, marking the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, will look have been unveiled.

The £28m project in the city from where the liner set sail on her maiden voyage in 1912, is set to feature a climb-aboard replica of the ship.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £499,000 for the development plan, which has been matched by the council.

Phase one of the Sea City Museum will open to public in 2012.

A city council spokesman said: "The phase will include exhibition galleries centring on the city's history as a major port.

"The displays will tell the hidden story of the Southampton crew onboard the Titanic, allowing visitors to explore what it was like to be in the merchant navy at the turn of the 20th Century."

Dockside scene

There will also be an exhibitions gallery shared between the museum and City Art Gallery, creating more space to display up to 100 paintings from the council's collection.

The Civic Centre will also be converted with the main exhibition hall turned into a scene of the dockside in Southampton with the Titanic about to depart.

The story of the disaster - when the ship hit an iceberg leading to the loss of 1,523 lives - and the finding of the wreck will be part of the exhibition.

About 4,000 items from the ship are also set to be displayed within galleries.

The authority could secure a further £4.5m for the first phase of the work once it has completed detailed plans, a spokesman added.

However, it still needs to find a further £10m and is currently exploring all possible opportunities for raising the money.

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