Signature Project hits iceberg..

A BBC report today points to the failed bid for £25million for the Titanic Quarter Signature Project from the Lottery Living Landmarks fund and the Belfast Telegraph notes that, “An application to redevelop the North Foreshore in north Belfast as part of a £70m project also missed out on Lottery money.” Which would be the Giants Park part of this masterplan [pdf file]. The BBC report refers to Economy minister Nigel Dodds considering other sources of funding [A certain private developer perhaps? – Ed] And he’ll need to since in July this year he committed “up to £32.5million in funding over three years” [Adds as jone points out, dependent on a successful lottery application] to the project which has just been granted outline planning permission.

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  • Stamper

    There’s £1.2 million available in DSD?

  • jone

    Pete it’s clear that the taxpayers £32.5m bung was dependent on the lottery fronting up.

    As the DETI website says; “SUBJECT TO THE SUCCESSFUL GRANT of Big Lottery funding, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment will offer a commitment to provide up to £32.5million in funding over three years.”

    From what I’ve heard from the Titanic people so far they haven’t a baldy how they’re going to replace the lottery money. Looks like there’s going to be some tough talking between the private developers and the government…

  • nd

    Titanic this, titanic that, the thing sank. Bad design? I don’t know or care.

    It killed lots of people. There was a chic flick movie about it that had huge hollywood stars, a big budget and made some dough.

    ITS AN EMBARASSING AND TERRIBLE NAME, WHY OH WHY DO WE HAVE TO NAME SCHEMES AFTER IT??

    There is a modest and in my view fitting tribute outside Belfast City Hall.

    Why the morbid attraction? I’d refuse it funding on those grounds alone.

  • Nestor Makhno

    Interesting to note that Belfast City Council were involved (to varying degrees) in supporting all three Belfast-based bids. How’s that for joined-up city thinking?!

    There should have been a single agreed council bid – instead a large amount of ratepaters money has gone into at least two bids that were never going to succeed.

    I wonder how much time and effort has been wasted by the council on the daft Giant’s Park bid – a quixotic attempt to turn the toxic (and isolated) former city dump into some sort of eden.

    It seems similar to the schizophrenic attitude the council has over the proposed city stadium. One half doesn’t know (or care) what the other half is doing. Meanwhile they are spending our money.

  • Rory

    “There was a chic flick movie about it that had huge hollywood stars…”

    Come on, ND, hardly “HUGE”. Kate Winslett’s ass is big I admit, but HUGE?

    Speaking of asses, surely any competent selection committee should have been aware that it is practically mandatory nowadays for any arts project hoping to attract lottery funding to incorporate within it a representation of male asses. They should have had some consultative input from the UDA Arts Committee.

  • Cromwell

    Rory,

    I am reliably informed the UDA “Arts” Committee are heavily involved in consultations for a Social Club on this site.

  • rubin

    Good to see the Connswater project make it through to the next stage.

    A proposal Supported by the whole community & one which will actually improve & enrich part of inner East Belfast.

    As regards the Titanic building, who cares.

  • ice-9

    So 23 million pounds towards potentially rejuvenating Connswater or the same towards building something which might actually ignite a woefully malnourished tourism industry here?

    Only in NI could this happen. I actually live in Connswater and this sounds equivalent to putting lipstick on a sow. Local people still won’t use these paths and walkways as they’ll become havens for our unruly youth. Ridiculous way to spend 23 million!

    When are we ever going to create any kind of museums or visitor attractions in Belfast? I know of no other city which has the front to market itself as a tourist destination whilst simultaneously having literally nothing to do. Look at Glasgow and Liverpool – they have a multitude of great galleries and museums.

    Take a look sometime at all the lost and bemused looking tourists walking our streets. Do you really think they’ll come back? Or recommend us to anyone?

    Depressing news all in all, though hardly surprising.

  • rubin

    Put the museum in the H&W drawing office.

    Its steeped in a hundred years of history, as are many of the old buildings.

    Better than spending 90 million on a glass greenhouse.

    The powers that be, would rather let the Drawing office be turned into a hotel by some private investor & knock down the rest of the buildings for private apartments and office blocks.

  • ice-9 – I couldn’t agree more.

  • gram

    Just look at the picture. It’s hardly a “signature project” or a landmark building. If built is anyone going to look at it in Spain or Australia and say, “That’s Belfast’s titanic signature project”. It could be anywhere.

    A rubbish design that’s not going to get the tourists flocking in. It’s a proposal intended to blend in with the main objective of the site which is to provide apartments for property speculators.

    Back to the drawing board and produce a landmark building for Belfast.

    Personally I’d like a mock up of the ship which doubles as a Hotel. It might be a bit Vegas but I’d bet it’ll pull in the tourists.

  • sportsman

    Its a horrible design. I know folk said the same about the Sdnyey Opera house at first but this is REALLY horrible

  • tweedledee

    gram,

    Personally I’d like a mock up of the ship which doubles as a Hotel. It might be a bit Vegas but I’d bet it’ll pull in the tourists.

    That’s much more like it. I’d like a mock up of the iceberg too. Could have re-enactment nights.

    sportsman,

    I know folk said the same about the Sdnyey Opera house at first but this is REALLY horrible

    It’s seriously ugly.

  • hercules

    Ice-9 is right about tourism product shortfall

    The proposed Titanic signature project was not iconic at all. good decision by Lottery.

    Now let’d get a fullsize replica of the Titanic.

    BTw Belfast City Council only supported (funded)the Giant’s park proposal.

  • david

    “It’s a proposal intended to blend in with the main objective of the site which is to provide apartments for property speculators.”

    Agreed gram

    It was going to be a focal point to attract property investers to buy the thousands of overpriced apartments being built in the area.

    The whole history of the area will be destroyed with large office buildings and tardy apartments.

    I’m delighted its been dumped, well done to the lottery committee.

    The whole 1 billion project seems to be directed at fat cat businessman rather than interested tourists.

  • brendan,belfast

    Good Morning Ulster’s reportage of this story was dire. Some producer thought he had a nice soundbite (“titanic project sunk by lottery decision”) and they kept on using it even after Brian Ambrose did a sterling job in saying it was a setback but not the end of the road. GMU is getting worse and worse but i know thats a whole other thread. (wish i knew how to start threads)

  • Ice-9

    I have to agree with all the gentlmen above: it’s a hideous building and has no obvious link to Titanic at all. If you take a look at the Titanic quarter website it looks like nobody had a clue what was going into this thing anyway.

    A full size replica is the way forward – I’m sure H and W would accept the contract to build it?

  • ND

    full size replica??????? Tell me your joking please..

    Titanic references are an interesting aside not the basis for this, I think the whole idea of a Titanic brand is so stupid. Why is it the brand of choice? Laziness?

    It SANK SANK SANK. It was a Boat with the purpose of at the very least not sinking.

    People died it was an embarassment. Can anyone explain the fascination with the name. The sense of failure drips of it.

    Can it be changed? It is a terrible name.

    Please someone explain why the fascination with failure. We should be embarassed by the fact it was built in Belfast.

  • 0b101010

    “Please someone explain why the fascination with failure. We should be embarassed by the fact it was built in Belfast.”

    Money. There’s lots and lots of money to be made off this particular morbidly popular disaster. Tourism in Northern Ireland is mostly based off the collective failure of the region anyway, so nothing new there, but it would be insane not to exploit the Titanic association.

    I honestly completely support the idea of building a replica Titanic and plonking it in the shipyard as a huge money-printing hotel or something similar.

  • Rory

    What about a life size nude sculpture of Leonardo and Kate in flagrante? It would help the younger generation make the connection with Titanic, make a lot of old men very happy and, if the Celine Dion theme song were to be constantly pumped at loud volume, would drive out all those unwanted foreigners that everyone’s constantly complaining about. Just add on a promo tie-in with McDonald’s for a Titanicburger and, hey presto! funding is taken care of and tourist catering facilities provided.

  • Cromwell

    Rory,

    “Promo tie-in with McDonalds” what? Jackie McDonald? Titanic burger; goes down like Farset! Don’t forget the social club!

  • Rory

    I cannot imagine, Cromwell, that Jackie McDonald in his new guise of near sainthood would wish himself to be associated with hamburgers and carnivorism. I am quite sure the man must now be a vegan and indeed I believe that, such is his new-found respect for the sanctity of all God’s creatures, he may even have converted to Janism and order his acolytes to precede him, sweeping the path before him lest he step on an ant (well a Protestant ant, anyway).

  • ND

    “Money. There’s lots and lots of money to be made off this particular morbidly popular disaster. Tourism in Northern Ireland is mostly based off the collective failure of the region anyway, so nothing new there, but it would be insane not to exploit the Titanic association.”

    Just because it is a way of generating interest does not mean it is the way. Jesus do we really want a long term future as tour guides saying nonsense like

    “And this street is where X did the unspeakable to Y etc etc etc?”

    Is the peace dividend pandering to the interest of others in mordidness?

    Cmon, why can’t we look for new things. Somewhere someone has to call a halt to all this nonsense about the titanic, it is the most Irish of Irish jokes that so much energy is poured into this nonsense.

    Yes there are fanatics who love the movie etc etc and willbe interested in seeing the city where it was build but lets have a bit of proportion to it.

    Titanic being built a generation ago in Belfast should says very little about our Belfast, modern Belfast.

    I hope this refusal of funding will see a different project come to the fore and the titanic brand be an aside in the cities future much as it is nothing more than an aside in the cities past.

    New governance, new hopes, please please NEW IDEAS.

  • 0b101010

    “Just because it is a way of generating interest does not mean it is the way. Jesus do we really want a long term future as tour guides saying nonsense like

    “And this street is where X did the unspeakable to Y etc etc etc?”

    Is the peace dividend pandering to the interest of others in mordidness?”

    It’d be daft to try to pretend it all didn’t happen and, quite frankly, it’s the only thing that sets us apart for tourism. It’s why people visit Northern Ireland — morbid curiosity.

  • ND

    0b101010, the possibility that you are right is not at all a pleasant thought!

    Funnything is I’mlooking out of the office right now at Londons East End, a place with a fair bit of really unpleasant History that is neither used to define the place nor forgotten. It’s pretty busy around brick lane for what it is now,not the blitz, the ripper or the battle of cable street.It’s about what the area is now, cosmopolitan, progressive, a little bit edgy and “urban real” for the Hoxton sharks but it is not about the terrible things that have happened.

    There certainly aint no Blitz quarter.

    It’s a pathetic lazy concept, it is morbid and it is lazy.

    …….shoot, it does sound perfect for NI!

    Could they not use the docks to provide something that is an interesting part of life not death?

    The Titanic idea seems to have been around for years and never been questioned. It is a curiousity that it was built in Belfast.

    Celebrate this failure and the danger is the City brand gets tied up with the Titanic brand?

    The peace process offers a chance at modernity, a chance to truely remake this place and a visit to the city of Belfast is a genuine pleasure in many ways.

    As for using the troubles, we have alot more than the troubles to define us and the governmant should beware making the place a living museum. Visit Cork and Kerry where Irish men also did the unspeakable to each other.

    Those counties are tourist destinations for many reasons but not because of the butchery.

    Make the NI story that of what we become NOT the story of what a minority did.

    I agree we can never deny what happened but to make it the centre to the story of our place is a great worry to me.

  • Rory

    Good man, ND.

    I am so glad that you support my more forward looking, not to say avant garde concept. Now that we have you on board together with Cromwell we make, like the old Arsenal back-line, an unassailable trio.

    I do think it is important that the sculpture should show Leonardo’s bum more prominently than Kate’s if we are to pitch again for Lottery dosh (and attract support from the UDA Arts Committee), but even though this may get funny looks from the missus initially, we will eventually win out and wind up quids in, probably with a gong each and maybe even an interview with Melvyn Bragg (which will keep the missus happy with the promise of a Green Room drinky-poos with the old adenoidally-challenged show-off).

    p.s. I am a wee bit worried about Celine Dione doing the theme song what with her being, er… French Canadian (if you know what I mean). Should we perhaps make an approach to Dolly Parton? I understand she’s a Baptist and has other obvious advantages.

    Aw, shit! let’s just go for it – I kinda always liked old Dolly.

  • ice-9

    ND – I’m not certain what you are on about. You seem to somehow be rolling the troubles and the Titanic into one thing?

    You need to think outside the box a little. You say we shouldn’t market the Titanic as a means to make tourism money – I ask then what other worldwide brands do we have readily at our disposal that we can market in its stead?

    The bottom line is we need to build things for tourists to visit. It’s interesting that you don’t think we should yet you live in London where you would be spoiled for choice with a multitude of world-class museums and attractions all drawing from its history.

    We don’t have that at present and if we’re going to continue to market ourselves as aggressively as we do as a tourist destination then we need some. Bottom line. We can build as many hotels as we like but if there’s nothing for people to do other than shop when they come here then it is ultimately self-defeating.

    At the end of the day we should either decide to properly pursue tourism as an industry or just drop it altogether and put the effort into something else. There’s little to be achieved from the current half-hearted approach.