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Liner's offices shouldn't draw on public funds

The news that the Titanic drawing offices may be open to public view to coincide with the centenary of the disaster next year must be seen as welcome.

It is harder to understand, though, why the Government will have to reportedly pay £3m for a seven-year lease from Harcourt Developments (Titanic Quarter) to make this possible.

In view of the substantial public funds already invested in the Titanic Signature Building, should these historic buildings not simply be made available in the public interest without charge?

Given the possibility that Heritage Lottery funding may be sought to restore the drawing offices, can the public be assured that this will not involve putting right foreseeable structural damage to the drawing offices caused during construction of the new Titanic Signature Building?

My inspection of the drawing offices earlier this year was not reassuring.

The report of the Audit Commission casts doubt over the financial sustainability of the Titanic Signature Building itself.

In the circumstances, we surely need transparency on such matters.

W NEILL

Belfast

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