New Chapter in Belfast’s Shipbuilding Heritage: Titanic & Nomadic
A new chapter in Belfast’s shipbuilding heritage begins this week as the Nomadic Charitable Trust officially transfer SS Nomadic to Titanic Foundation Limited, the charity that also own the Titanic Belfast visitor attraction. SS Nomadic will be operated by Titanic Belfast Limited, Titanic Belfast’s commercial operator, who will align their 5 star visitor attraction experience to Titanic’s little sister.
The SS Nomadic is not only the last remaining White Star Line ship anywhere in the world, it’s also the biggest Titanic artefact and an authentic piece of Belfast’s maritime heritage. In 2005 Nomadic was languishing in Le Havre when local enthusiasts became aware of its plight, and began a campaign to ‘Save the Nomadic’ from scrappage. The Department for Social Development stepped in and bought Nomadic in 2006, bringing it home later that year. The Nomadic Charitable Trust was set up to oversee its restoration and conservation, and the ship opened to the public in 2013.
Denis Rooney CBE, Chairman of the Board commented, "Nomadic Charitable Trust has worked hard to bring SS Nomadic to this point but we feel it is time to integrate SS Nomadic into the wider Titanic Quarter offer. We have been working with Titanic Foundation Limited over several months to ensure a seamless transition and we are delighted that the transfer is now complete and look forward to seeing SS Nomadic flourish"
Titanic Foundation has taken on ownership of the SS Nomadic, as part of their remit to protect and promote the maritime and industrial heritage of Belfast. In collaboration with Titanic Belfast Limited, it was recognised that there would be significant benefits in joining up the operations of both Titanic Belfast and the SS Nomadic advancing the development and promotion of Titanic Quarter as an international maritime heritage destination.
Kerrie Sweeney, Titanic Foundation Limited’s CEO, highlighted: "The Nomadic Charitable Trust have done a fantastic job reinstating SS Nomadic to its majestic glory and we are delighted to be part of this new chapter of Nomadic’s history. At a time when many heritage organisations are suffering from funding cuts, we believe this strategic move will not only enhance the Titanic Quarter visitor experience but achieve greater sustainability for SS Nomadic for many years to come'
Tim Husbands MBE, Titanic Belfast’s CEO, added: “We are very proud to be associated with the SS Nomadic, a unique part of Belfast’s rich maritime heritage which provides such a tangible reference for the Titanic story. Combining SS Nomadic with the Titanic Belfast underpins the authentic experience we offer our visitors and further reinforces Belfast's international positioning as Titanic's birthplace''
SS Nomadic and Titanic Belfast are open to the public with a full programme of family events over the holiday period.