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Last Updated: Monday, 8 January 2007, 19:26 GMT
1bn Titanic area plan submitted
Titanic quarter
How the developers envisage the Titanic quarter will look
Northern Ireland's biggest planning application has been submitted to develop Belfast's Titanic quarter.

The 1bn plans include building a tourist centre with a target of attracting 500,000 visitors annually.

The massive scheme would cover more than three million square feet of hotels, shops, apartments and restaurants as well.

The huge slipways where the White Star Line's Titanic and Olympic liners were launched are central to the plan.

The exhibition centre will be located beside the refurbished slipways, which will create a public space three times the size of Trafalgar square.

Five star hotels and apartments will help cater for the thousands of visitors which are expected.

A marina is also planned to help bring pleasure boats into the heart of Belfast's old industrial centre.

The drawing office in the shipyard may be refurbished.

The developers predict that Titanic quarter will prove to be an even bigger draw than the Giant's Causeway, bringing half a million people to Belfast every year.

The 75m exhibition building will not only show how the great ship was constructed but also provide a window into the lives of the people who built and sailed the world famous liner.

Headquarters

There are plans too to refurbish the old Harland and Wolf headquarters building and the famous drawing office where engineers and draughtsmen pored over plans for the ship.

The loss of the Titanic stunned Belfast and also represented a devastating blow to Belfast's industrial prestige.

But now almost 100 years later the ghost of the Titanic seems set to sail back into Belfast, bringing with it thousands of people fascinated by the romance of the luxury liner.

For now the plans are all on paper but in just two or three years the old shipyard could be transformed.

The derelict shipyard and the Titanic slipway covered with weeds could become a recognised tourist destination.

Funding though is an issue.

Even if the planners sanction the Titanic quarter blueprint, the project will need to attract significant Government money to make it happen.

But the developers seem confident they can steer this Titanic project to success and the aim now is get work under way to complete the exhibition centre in time for the centenary of the liner's launch in 2011.


SEE ALSO
Titanic Quarter plans unveiled
15 Apr 03 |  Northern Ireland

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