Located in the historic Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Titanic Hotel Belfast occupies the former Harland & Wolff Headquarters and Drawing Offices, which served as the control centre for the largest shipyard in the world for over a century. It was here that thousands of ships, including the legendary White Star Olympic Class Liners – Olympic, Titanic, and Britannic, were designed, created, and built between 1885-1912.
Despite its architectural and historical significance, the building remained vacant and derelict for nearly 30 years after Harland & Wolff vacated the premises in 1989. In 2002, the building was added to the Heritage at Risk Register NI (HARNI), reflecting its potential demise due to lack of use.
However, in recent years the Maritime Belfast Trust, the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) (through the Heritage Enterprise program which aimed to encourage partnerships between local communities and private sectors to revive historic buildings for commercial use), and Harcourt Development, intervened to restore and transform the building. The £5 million Heritage Enterprise award from the NLHF was a key investment in the transformation of the building.
The result was a sympathetic restoration and development of the building, culminating in the opening of Titanic Hotel Belfast in 2017. Now accessible to the public, the boutique hotel retains much of its heritage, with numerous shipyard artifacts and artworks on display.
The Titanic Hotel Belfast is a great example of how investment in the historic environment offers strong returns, both tangible and intangible. The B+ listed hotel is a popular tourist destination, an asset for the city’s maritime heritage, and it has helped to boost the local economy. It is a testament to the power of heritage to create a positive impact on places and communities.
For more information on the building’s restoration click here.