The £97m Titanic Signature Project is on its way to becoming a world class destination, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said, during a visit to the Titanic Quarter yesterday.
“This project will also give potential visitors a unique and compelling reason to choose Northern Ireland as their destination,” she said.
The independent charitable trust The Titanic Foundation will own and operate the attraction when it finally opens in 2012.
Foundation chairman Jonathan Hegan said the building would be “a landmark tourism, leisure and cultural facility”.
The building will also house banqueting, retail and restaurant facilities, conference suites, a large community resource and a flying theatre.
The Titanic Signature Project is one of five identified by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to showcase Northern Ireland.
Howard Hastings, NITB chairman, said: “Authentic elements like the drawing offices and the slipways, will also combine with this new iconic building to transform the Titanic Quarter into a destination that is a truly unique visitor experience.”
Belfast City Council is putting £10m into the project and the Executive, £43.5m. The remainder will come from private developer, Titanic Quarter Limited and Belfast Harbour Commissioners.