What We Do
Titanic Belfast is the first phase of the Foundation’s ambition to create a dynamic maritime destination where preservation of heritage complements regeneration and where public realm, events and amenities attract, engage and connects everyone in Belfast to Titanic’s narrative – human endeavour, pride, inspiration and innovation.
TFL is responsible for managing the operator contract with Titanic Belfast Limited (TBL), ensuring that they maintain the iconic status of the building and provide an innovative world class visitor experience to local, national and international visitors. Titanic Belfast has performed all of its objectives to date, and in the first year of opening, more than 800,000 people visited Titanic Belfast from 128 different countries and territories, bringing almost half a million more visitors to Belfast, and contributed £54m in venue to Belfast’s economy. Since then, the visitor attraction has welcomed almost five million visitors through the galleries, conference and banqueting and events.
Looking forward, our future objectives are to preserve the maritime heritage assets on Titanic Quarter and enhance the authenticity of the destination; develop and promote Titanic Quarter as an authentic maritime heritage destination; and to engage, and to continue to educate and maximise opportunities for local communities across Belfast and Northern Ireland to understand and share this heritage. To achieve this TFL must ensure Belfast’s maritime heritage is preserved for current and future generations to access and that Titanic Quarter becomes a shared space for the people of Belfast and Northern Ireland.
In April 2015 TFL acquired the SS Nomadic from the Nomadic Charitable Trust as part of our remit to protect and promote the maritime and industrial heritage of Belfast. Titanic Belfast Limited took over operations of the ship, and now report to TFL on all operational matters, aligning their five star visitor experience to the biggest Titanic artefact in the world.
Since acquiring the lease for the former Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices and Headquarter Building in 2012, our priority over the last few years has been the restoration and development of the building into a four star boutique hotel. Titanic Hotel Belfast opened to the public on September 10th 2017. The project has seen the heritage of the building preserved, with the most historically important rooms such as the Drawing Offices and Board Room, developed as spaces for public use and telling the story of Belfast’s industrial heritage.
We recently worked with the Commissioners of Irish Lights to find a home for the historic Optic from Mew Island Lighthouse. One of the largest optics ever constructed, its new home is a specialist glass interpretative structure located along the new Titanic Walkway. Now known as the Great Light, the enclosure resembles a lighthouse lantern room and adds a remarkable element to the Titanic Quarter public realm. With free public access it tells the story of lighthouses, their technological development, their light keepers, and their role in the proud maritime & industrial heritage of Belfast and Ulster.
One of our next projects will be the Harland & Wolff Steam Cranes that we acquired along with the Drawing Offices in 2012. We are currently exploring a number of options for their future use.
Alongside our heritage work, we are also dedicated to the promotion of Titanic Quarter as an authentic maritime heritage destination. TFL play a significant role in co-ordinating stakeholders, pulling organisations and product together to create a destination which is enjoyed by the people of Belfast and Northern Ireland. You can read our Titanic Quarter Destination Plan here.
And finally, Titanic Foundation and it’s Board are committed to stakeholder and community engagement, which was fundamental to the successful delivery of Titanic Belfast. Many of the facts and details about the Drawing Offices are gathered from its former employees. Events such as the Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival and European Heritage Open Days allows us to engage with the community, and undertaking work to the Drawing Offices allowed them to be reopened to the public for guided tours and events.