31st March 2012

Titanic Belfast Open to All

Outside Titanic

Titanic Foundation and Belfast City Council welcomed 200 community and voluntary organisations to Titanic Belfast today for a Titanic breakfast in the Titanic Suite.

Groups heard 100 local Belfast schoolchildren sing a specially commissioned choral work Titanic Voyage written by Philip Stopford, Director of Music at St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. The schoolchildren then released 401 balloons from the Titanic slipways – 401 was the number given to Titanic during its construction at the shipyard.

Today marks the one hundredth anniversary of the day Titanic left Belfast, to begin its journey to Southampton.  Titanic Foundation Vice-Chair Noel Rooney said:  “As well as being a significant tourist attraction, we want people to see Titanic Belfast as an asset for all communities in Northern Ireland.  We want to see the building being used by community and voluntary organisations, across Belfast and across Northern Ireland, and for communities to feel ownership of the building. We hope groups will come and see the exhibition, use the meeting spaces and have events and discussions in the conference rooms. This is a facility for all people.”

Titanic Foundation will also be supporting performances of The Boat Factory at Titanic Belfast. The Boat Factory is a play by award-winning actor, writer and director Dan Gordon who used his experience of growing up around, and working in, the Belfast shipyard to bring the triumphs and tragedies of Harland and Wolff to life.

Titanic Foundation Trustee and East Belfast MLA Sammy Douglas commented:  “Titanic Foundation is a charitable Trust whose purpose is to educate people about Belfast’s maritime and industrial heritage; and also to encourage and inspire new generations of ‘Titanic thinkers’ in Northern Ireland.  Learning through the medium of Dan Gordon’s excellent play is an excellent way to fulfil the mission of the Foundation and we are delighted to support these performances of the Boat Factory.”