Belfast Telegraph

Floating maritime museum moves a step closer to opening

By Amanda Poole

A floating museum to showcase Northern Ireland's rich maritime heritage is one step closer to opening on the River Lagan.

A planning application has been made to Planning Service for the permanent mooring of a barge to be used as a multi-functional maritime gallery, office space and cafe at Lanyon Quay in Belfast.

The 1960 Dutch, MV Confiance has been moored at Lanyon Quay since 2006. The major renovation work of the Homeplace project is nearly finished, including a complete repainting of the vessel.

Lagan Legacy, the company behind the project, received £624,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £150,000 from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and £95,000 from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for the project.

The development will include a coffee bar, restaurant, museum and arts centre, plus an open-air cinema on the top deck.

Organisers hope the barge will have an educational role for young people in the province keen to learn about the industrial history of the River Lagan.

Derek Booker, chairman of Lagan Legacy, said he was looking forward to completion of the project next month.