£3m to revamp Titanic tender vessel
More than £3 million has been awarded to support the restoration of Titanic tender vessel the Nomadic, the Heritage Lottery Fund has said.
The project will allow people to experience what life was like in the Harland and Wolff docks in 1911 with the SS Nomadic returned to its original condition and housing an education space for schoolchildren, it added.
The work will provide public access to Hamilton Dock, Belfast, for the first time, enabling visitors to explore the quay as a working 1911 dockside. The original pumphouse will also be renovated.
Chairman of the lottery fund committee in Northern Ireland Ronnie Spence said: "The project will enable people to see, hear and experience what life was like in the famous Harland and Wolff docks during 1911, and with the world's last remaining link to Titanic and sole-surviving White Star Line vessel taking centre stage, the SS Nomadic will provide a unique and authentic offering for visitors to the Titanic Quarter."
A total of £3.25 million from the lottery fund will be directed towards the overhaul.
The Nomadic, like the Titanic, was built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast. It is currently undergoing work at the Hamilton Dock in Belfast's Titanic Quarter.
Less than a year after the White Star Line-owned vessels left the city, the Nomadic was employed to transport first and second class passengers from the French port of Cherbourg to the Titanic ahead of its ill-fated maiden Atlantic voyage in 1912. On that trip it sank after striking an iceberg with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.
Original plans and drawings will be used to restore the Nomadic, with panelling and features retained from the time and reused where possible.
Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said he has provisionally earmarked a contribution of up to £1 million from his department.
"It is recognised that the project will attract new and additional visitors to Northern Ireland, Belfast and Titanic Quarter in particular by offering a rich visitor attraction," he said.