Cash hope for Nomadic restoration
Plans to restore the SS Nomadic have moved a step closer to winning more than £2 million in lottery funding.
Proposals to overhaul the tender ship which ferried passengers from Cherbourg to the Titanic before its fateful voyage in 1912 will now be drawn up in more detail following Heritage Lottery Fund support.
The scheme to reopen the Nomadic and the Hamilton Dock in Belfast in time for the centenary of the sinking would create a museum to explain the story of the shipyards and travel in that period.
Lottery fund chief Paul Mullan said: "This is fantastic news for Northern Ireland. In a hugely competitive funding environment, the heritage merit of this project shines through.
"As one of the great industrial cities of the 19th and 20th centuries, Belfast has a rich industrial and maritime heritage, and as the city that built the world's most famous liner, a unique claim to the Titanic story.
"The SS Nomadic and Hamilton Graving Dock are key links in that story and this project has the potential to play a significant part in the centenary commemorations of the sinking of the Titanic in 2012."
The Nomadic team is bidding for £2.65 million from the lottery fund.
The boat carried Charlie Chaplin, Elizabeth Taylor and John Jacob Astor and the project will restore the first and second-class passenger areas to their original state in contrast to the austere third-class area.
It would house a People's Museum, shared exhibition and events space. Those behind the project have two years to submit more detailed proposals.
Denis Rooney, chairman of the Nomadic Charitable Trust, said: "We are delighted that HLF appreciate the tremendous potential of the Nomadic project and have awarded us this first round pass. We are confident that we will be able to deliver a project which will reward their trust in us and will be something which will make everyone in Northern Ireland immensely proud."