Gilpin ESD

Executive Recruitment | Belfast | Northern Ireland

Visit to the Titanic Quarter, Belfast

Monday, October 18th, 2010

The last few weeks in Northern Ireland have seen numerous professional bodies and organisations arranging breakfasts, policy launches, Politician briefings, social / networking events and development interventions.  Following the summer the event programmes by these bodies are full and these events are coming thick and fast.

Most that the consultants from Gilpin have attended have been very good, informative and often entertaining. However, the most fascinating has been a recent visit to the Titanic Quarter, Belfast.

Organised by the IoD, the visit to Titanic Quarter presented a superb demonstration of a blend of history of a golden era in the industrial history of Northern Ireland with a vision of the future of the landscape where once thousands worked.  The Titanic Quarter includes already established developments such as the NI Science Park and.  When completed the whole area will be transformed and include living space, retail outlets, hotels, work space, a financial services centre amongst other attractions and landmark buildings.

The Titanic Signature Project is intended to open in time for the centenary of RMS Titanic in 2012 (actually on April Fools Day!) and those involved are determined and confident this deadline will be met.  The Titanic Signature Project is a central part to the whole Titanic Quarter and will a first class attraction and include presentations on the history of the Titanic set in the context of it originating from Belfast, and what this meant for the country.   The main focus will be on the maritime history of the city and specifically the Titanic which has obvious tourist appeal.

Artist's Impression of how the Titanic Signature Project will look from the north.
Artist’s Impression of how the Titanic Signature Project will look from the north.

Titanic Signature Project Belfast under construction taken from the old H&W HQ to the south.

The presentation from key executives involved was delivered with pride in the past and passion for the future; emotions that were quite infectious as the plans were outlined and during the subsequent tour of the building (under construction) and surrounding area. We were then provided a tour of the area which started with a tour of the old Harland & Wolff HQ.  Sadly this  historic building is in a state of disrepair although the tour guide, who is a self-proclaimed “Titanorak”, enabled those present to grasp the enormity of the business that was being done in 1912 and the feats of engineering expertise that  marked H&W out as a world-class shipbuilder.  This experience was all delivered with an understanding of how the great and the good like Ismay, Pirrie, Andrews etc entertained guests like Kaiser Billy in the Boardroom prior to the launching of the Olympic  mixed in with tails of what working life at the yard was like for the thousands who laboured on the great ships.

Harland & Wolff Drawing Office where Thomas Andrews and his team of experts designed the world's greatest ships at the time.

The Titanic Dock Belfast (formerly the Thompson Dry Dock, a name with less tourist appeal) which holds 21 million gallons of water to float ships like RMS Titanic into it.

Titanic Pump House Belfast, which had the capacity to pump 21 m gallons of water out of the dock in approx 90 minutes so that work could be carried out on Olympic Class Ocean Liners

For any person interested in the martitime history of Belfast and how the future lanscape of Queen’s Island it is highly recommended to visit the area and take a tour with the excellent guides at the Titanic Dock & Pumphouse.

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