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HMS Caroline Visitor Attraction

Project direction, project management and legal support for a major Belfast tourism initiative.

Project Description

The project will deliver a new high quality visitor attraction in the Titanic Quarter area of Belfast. The project was split into three phases where Phase 1 involved the refurbishment and conversion of the HMS Caroline, which was completed on programme for the 31st May 2016. Phase 2 involves the ship being taken to dry dock for conservation works to the hull and this is scheduled for November 2016. Phase 3 is the refurbishment of the Alexandra Dock in which she currently sits, along with the adjacent Pump House Buildings (Blocks 1-3).

The pump house is a 120 year old listed building providing a space for special exhibitions and links the heritage of HMS Caroline with its immediate maritime context of the Alexandra Dock, the Pump-House itself and the Thompson Dock where the Titanic was built. This phase is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2017.

HMS Caroline is a 100 year old light cruiser class ship and is the last surviving ship from the Grand Fleet which fought at the 1916 Battle of Jutland. She has been in Belfast for 90 years and Belfast is to remain as her home as a visitor attraction for the foreseeable future.

She is the sole survivor of the 200 vessels in the National Historic Fleet. HMS Caroline is largely unchanged from the day she was constructed and still has 85% of the original construction, which adds to her significance. The project will allow visitors to embark on a journey over 100 years of Naval history, through the personal stories of the people from the Island of Ireland who were part of her life.

Project Status

At June 2016:

Phase 1The Ship (Complete) – Works on board the ship commenced in July 2015 and were completed on programme in May 2016 in time for the commemoration of the Battle of Jutland. The ship opened to the public on the 1st June 2016. The works to the ship comprised of:

• Asbestos Removal
• Ship Adaptation
• Audio Visual Hardware and Software
• Exhibition Fitout

Phase 2 – Dry Docking of the ship for conservation works to the hull is scheduled for November 2016.

Phase 3 – Visitor Centre refurbishment works to the Pump House Blocks 1-3 including the Alexandra dock. These works are programmed to start in August 2016 and complete ready for opening in June 2017 with the landscaping element completing in March 2017.

SIB Involvement

SIB has been involved in the project since its inception in 2011/12 and is providing the part time Project Director and full time Project Manager for this project. Legal support has also been given.


For further information contact

Jonathan Porter, Project Manager

M: 07825827999 T: 02890 909309 E: Jonathan.Porter@sibni.org

HMS Caroline in Belfast