A new chapter will begin for Titanic Foundation Ltd, the charity responsible for promoting and preserving Belfast’s maritime heritage, as it becomes known as Maritime Belfast Trust.
For over 10 years the charity has been building a commitment and responsibility for Belfast’s internationally renowned maritime heritage. Maritime Belfast Trust will broaden its remit to help deliver Belfast’s waterfront as a vibrant, accessible heritage destination and will work alongside key partners to support with the delivery of the city’s Covid-19 recovery plans.
Set up to deliver the visitor attraction Titanic Belfast, Titanic Foundation’s other achievements include the restoration of the former Harland and Wolff Drawing Offices – now Titanic Hotel Belfast, the acquisition of the SS Nomadic, and the relocation of The Great Light. As Maritime Belfast Trust their commitment and responsibility for these iconic maritime assets will remain unchanged as they build on the importance of Belfast’s maritime heritage for the city and its people.
With the recent challenges presented by Covid-19, the work of Maritime Belfast Trust will be vital in supporting Belfast’s recovery. In conjunction with strategic partners including Belfast Harbour and Belfast City Council, the charity’s plans to help support Belfast’s Covid recovery strategy include the development of the Maritime Mile, an exciting Blueway for the city, which represents one navigational mile of water and 10 kilometres of accessible, connected waterfront.
Maritime Belfast Trust will focus on five key themes to enable it to deliver on its mission ‘to preserve and promote Belfast’s rich maritime heritage for the enjoyment of current and future generations and in doing so contribute to sustainable social and economic development’. The themes: Connect, Energise, Enrich, Influence, Thrive, will help with the delivery of Belfast’s waterfront as a vibrant, accessible heritage destination with a focus on the Maritime Mile.
Kerrie Sweeney, Chief Executive of Maritime Belfast Trust, said: “This is a very exciting time in our history as Titanic Foundation Ltd becomes known as Maritime Belfast Trust. Over the past ten years, it has been a privilege to work alongside our strategic partners, funders as well as the many local communities and volunteers as we delivered a range of significant projects that have helped to shape, transform and make accessible our amazing waterfront and maritime assets. We are very much looking forward to continuing to work with everyone as we look to the future to deliver, promote and protect Belfast’s magnificent maritime heritage; especially within the city’s Covid-19 recovery plans, and ensure that Belfast’s historic waterfront plays an integral part of the Belfast experience; a destination that is alive with people and where businesses thrive.”
Chair of Maritime Belfast Trust, Marie Therese McGivern, added: “Maritime Belfast Trust will provide us with the opportunity to expand our charitable purposes to allow us to support Belfast Harbour and other key stakeholders to deliver a vibrant, historic waterfront destination through the advancement of heritage, culture, arts, events and community development. Our commitment to our heritage assets: Titanic Belfast, SS Nomadic and The Great Light, remain unaltered and will very much play a vital role as we continue to deliver maritime heritage projects for the city.”
Joe O’Neill, Chief Executive of Belfast Harbour, said: “Creating an iconic waterfront for the city is one of Belfast Harbour’s key strategic goals. Our strategic partnership with Maritime Belfast Trust plays a vital role in helping us to deliver this ambition and protect our maritime heritage. We have worked collaboratively with Titanic Foundation since its inception and as it evolves into Maritime Belfast Trust, we welcome the opportunity for increased partnership working.
“Our shared vision for development of the Maritime Mile, a walking trail which connects landmarks on both sides of our waterfront, is already attracting new visitors and helping to engage all generations in our rich maritime heritage. With the support of Maritime Belfast Trust, we are confident that our ambitious plans and ongoing investments will continue to develop an iconic waterfront area in which people want to work, live, invest and relax.”