Titanic dilemma…

Interesting story concerning the SS Nomadic, a small tender built in Belfast the year before the Titanic and used to ferry passengers out to the tragic liner. The ship is still afloat, and is up for sale in France. But the City Council cannot afford the cost of buying and restoring and ready for inclusion in a Titanic Musuem.

It also seems reluctant to apply to Northern Ireland Consolidated Loan Fund, run by the NI Audit Office to help NI Departments to meet necessary expenditure. It begs the question of how confident the Council is that the project will do what it says on the tin. Back to the business plan?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Belfast City Council isn’t a risk-taking council, and gets very worried – and not without some justification – about ploughing money into a potential white elephant.

    This, combined with extremely slow wheels of government and decision making, means anything requiring imagination or is a bit different is seen as taking too big a risk with ratepayers money. That means it will be very reluctant to take the loan that Minister Smith has recommended.

    There will always be something needing money more urgently, even though long term benefits of something like the Nomadic could capture the public imagination locally, bring tourists to Belfast and contribute to employment and the local economy.

    The ultimate benefits could be worth the risk, which, if managed properly, could finally see Belfast with a long overdue Titanic-related attraction.

    However, time is short…

  • Mick Fealty

    Is this a candidate for a public private partnership?

  • peteb

    Steady there with the PPP suggestions, Mick ;o)

    How about a Lottery Fund grant instead?

  • Belfast Gonzo

    I understand that once the ship is in place, that Lottery money could be used to help pay for refurbishment, but not to pay for the ship itself.

    Mick

    It is hard to find investors for anything in NI at the best of times, although I don’t know if PPP is permissable or viable with this project. I’m sure it would have been considered. Something like this would be seen as a bit of a gamble, but if you know any entrepreneurs, let them know about Nomadic!

  • peteb

    Gonzo

    The refurbishment is by far the largest part of the overall cost.

  • ulsterman

    This would be a stupid waste of ratepayers money.A Titanic Museum would be a loss making venture.

    Life moves on. The film was all hype. Why not just build a boat and tell any dumb tourist stupid enough to pay money that that was the boat that ferried people to the Titanic.

    Get A Grip.

    God Save The Queen.