The Harland and Wolff headquarters in Belfast, where the iconic Titanic was designed, is to be turned into a hotel.
Previously the control centre for one of the largest shipyards in the world, the vacant building on Queen’s Island is to be transformed into a four-star 84-bedroom hotel using a £4.9m Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
Kerrie Sweeney, chief executive of the educational charity the Titanic Foundation, said: "With HLF’s support we will safeguard the drawing offices for future generations and unlock the commercial potential of the entire building as a boutique hotel with heritage at its core.
"This is a truly unique and authentic project for Belfast that could not have happened without the support from Heritage Enterprise Scheme."
The hotel’s design will draw on the area’s rich industrial heritage, creating authentic spaces – board room, telephony room and entrance lobby – as well as the fixtures and fittings relating to the local shipbuilding industry.
The former headquarters building is where Belfast workers created and designed over 1,000 ships including the White Star Olympic Class Liners – Olympic, Titanic and Britannic and naval warships such as HMS Belfast.
The industry declined in the 1950s and the Harland and Wolff building has been vacant for almost a decade since 1989.