Page last updated at 05:34 GMT, Monday, 7 September 2009 06:34 UK

Titanic themed hotel set for city

Titanic
An artist's impression of the new Titanic themed hotel

A five-star Titanic themed hotel is to be created at the old headquarters of the Belfast shipyard where the doomed liner was built.

A planning application has been lodged to turn the former Harland & Wolff headquarters - a listed building - into a 90-bedroom boutique hotel.

The building, at Queen's Island in east Belfast, will feature a swimming pool, gym and spa facilities.

The hotel is part of the redevelopment of 185 acres of former shipyard land.

The area is now known as the Titanic Quarter in memory of the liner which sank on its maiden voyage in 1912, with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.

A spokesman for the developers, Titanic Quarter Ltd, said: "Given the enormous global interest in the Titanic and the building's close association with the ship, such a hotel will add to the Northern Ireland tourist experience."

Titanic
The hotel will stand at the shipyard where Titanic was built

He said the plans for the hotel had been drawn up in consultation with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency to ensure that the building would be appropriately refurbished and restored.

In January a separate planning application was lodged for the restoration of two drawing offices where the Titanic's blueprint was drawn up.

The offices form a part of the former shipyard headquarters and the proposal is to make the ornate offices available for public events.

Hundreds of millions of pounds are being pumped into the Titanic Quarter in the provision of commercial, residential and educational developments, including a new site for the Belfast Metropolitan College and the Public Records Office.

Centrepiece

The hotel is part of the centrepiece Titanic Signature Project which will bring the area's history to life.

The project will include the restoration of the Thompson Dock and the slipways where the Titanic and her sister ship, the Olympic, were built.

A £90m Titanic Signature building is planned for the head of the Titanic slipway.

The Titanic Quarter development is expected to attract significant numbers of visitors.

The recent Tall Ships Festival drew some 500,000 to Belfast's waterfront in just three days. Developers project that the Titanic Signature Project could draw about 400,000 visitors every year.



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