Alliance Enterprise Spokesman, Sean Neeson, has said plans for a Titanic tourist site in the Belfast docklands are “hugely exciting” and have potentially global significance.
Ald Neeson stated: “I welcome the proposals for the Titanic tourist project unveiled today. The project must result in a tasteful, exciting attraction to draw tourists from all over the world, and indeed give pride to local communities. Given the imminence of the Titanic’s centenary in 2012, it is vital work starts on this project sooner rather than later.
“A key aspect here is the restoration of the Old Drawing Office, which will be one of the key attractions.
“I have pushed for such a development since my time on the Board of MAGNI, and also as Northern Ireland representative on the UK National Historical Ships Committee. Given the worldwide significance of the Titanic story, this should become a hugely exciting and global attraction, and I will be working to ensure it reaches its full potential.”
Meanwhile, Alliance Belfast City Councillor, Tom Ekin, has said that he will keep an eye on ensuring the project reaches full potential.
Speaking after a meeting with Titanic Quarter directors today, the former Belfast Lord Mayor stated: “I have been agitating for movement on this project for some years now, and am delighted that at last we have this commitment.
“However, it is essential that we get moving right now. The centenary deadline is fast approaching and work has to start straight away. This is a time for Belfast to show it can be imaginative. We want to create a unique, accessible tourist icon for the city that brings people back again and again.
“I am also very concerned that the Old Pump House and other historical attractions in the docklands area will be lost to the sea unless action is taken immediately to preserve them. I have given the Titanic Quarter directors an undertaking that I will write to the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment seeking assurances that they will maintain such tourist attractions and ensure they are not lost to future generations, both locals and visitors.
“Now is the time for action. I will be keeping a eye open to ensure progress is made quickly.”
MAGNI: Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland, responsible for the management of museums and galleries in Northern Ireland including the Ulster Museum and Ulster Folk and Transport Museum.