Northern Ireland

Harland and Wolff drawing offices: £4.9m grant to create 'Titanic' hotel in Belfast

Titanic Image copyright Private collection
Image caption The Titanic being towed out of Belfast Lough

A £4.9m grant has been awarded to help convert the building at Belfast's Harland and Wolff (H & W) shipyard, where the Titanic was designed, into an 84-room boutique hotel.

The H & W headquarters building and drawing offices on Queen's Island was the hub where more than 1,000 ships including the Olympic, Titanic, Britannic and HMS Belfast were planned.

It has been vacant since 1989.

The Heritage Lottery Fund provided the grant to restore the listed building.

It said the restoration had the potential to create more than 100 jobs.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) said the grant would focus on developing the two drawing offices as spaces for public use.

Media captionThe old drawing offices where plans for the legendary Titanic were first put on paper

It said the boutique hotel would also tell the story of Belfast's industrial heritage.

Image copyright AP
Image caption The bow of the RMS Titanic photographed in the North Atlantic in 1998

Paul Mullan, head of HLF Northern Ireland, said the "exciting project" would see one of Belfast's most historic buildings reborn as a "major tourist destination".

Image copyright PAcemaker
Image caption The old building at Queen's Island which will become a new hotel

"This, like many of the city's historic buildings, has incredible potential to act as a driver of regeneration and economic growth," he added.

Kerrie Sweeney, chief executive of Titanic Foundation, said that with HLF's support, it would "safeguard the drawing offices for future generations and unlock the commercial potential of the entire building as a boutique hotel with heritage at its core".

Image caption An artist's impression of what the hotel would look like

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