Belfast Telegraph

Luxury hotel has designs on derelict Titanic offices in Belfast

An artist’s impression of what the new hotel will look like
An artist’s impression of what the new hotel will look like
Former worker Rodney McCullough at the derelict Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices on Queen’s Island in Belfast
Former worker Jack Casement at the derelict Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices on Queen’s Island in Belfast
The ornate staircase in the old building at Queen’s Island which will become a new hotel
Designers at work in its heyday
Former Employee Rodney McCullough
The Drawing Offices in Belfast will be turned into a four-star hotel

By Rebecca Black

The now derelict building where the ill-fated liner Titanic was designed is set for a new lease of life as a luxury hotel.

The historic Drawing Offices were once the control centre for the largest shipyard in the world.

More than 1,000 ships were designed in the building, including the White Star Olympic Class Liners - Olympic, Titanic and Britannic, as well as naval warships such as HMS Belfast.

But it has stood empty and silent since Harland and Wolff departed in 1989, and has been considered at risk for almost a decade. With the exception of a new roof thanks to EU funding, the Drawing Offices have remained untouched since then.

Now they will become a key part of the Belfast tourist trail with a section open to the public as well as the new four-star hotel.

This has been made possible due to a £4.9m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

The Titanic Foundation Ltd has said the plan for an 84-bedroom boutique hotel has the potential to create 100 jobs.

In addition to the hotel, the lottery grant will focus on developing the two historical Drawing Offices as spaces for public use.

It will tell the story of Belfast's industrial heritage, focusing on the Board Room, Telephony Room and Entrance Lobby.

Kerrie Sweeney, chief executive of Titanic Foundation, said the Drawing Offices would be safeguarded for future generations.

"Titanic Foundation in partnership with Titanic Quarter Ltd has been working on this project over the last two years," she said.

"It has been a long process but worth it."

Paul Mullan, Head of the HLF in Northern Ireland, said the project had the potential to drive regeneration and economic growth.

"This is an exciting project that will see one of Belfast's most historic buildings reborn as a major tourist destination," he said.

"This, like many of the city's historic buildings, has incredible potential to act as a driver of regeneration and economic growth."

Belfast Telegraph

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