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HMS Caroline to remain in Belfast - Foster

Oct 12

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12 October 2012  RssIcon

An important part of Northern Ireland’s maritime history was secured following the announcement that HMS Caroline will remain in Belfast.
The announcement was made at the Imperial War Museums as part of a programme to mark the Centenary of the First World War. As part of the announcement the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) pledged £1million which will help secure the future of the ship.
Welcoming the news, Tourism Minister, Arlene Foster said: “Today’s announcement is great news as it means we will be able to begin the process of bringing HMS Caroline back to her former glory.
“The commitment from the National Heritage Memorial Fund is as a result of a partnership between my Department and the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) to create a plan for the future of the ship in Belfast.

Welcoming the news, Tourism Minister, Arlene Foster said: “Today’s announcement is great news as it means we will be able to begin the process of bringing HMS Caroline back to her former glory.

“The commitment from the National Heritage Memorial Fund is as a result of a partnership between my Department and the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) to create a plan for the future of the ship in Belfast.

“Over the last year, there has been a significant effort, from myself and others to find a solution to keeping HMS Caroline here. In July, Nigel Dodds MP and I met with Andrew Robathan, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans in London to press the case. I am very pleased that our collective efforts have played an important part in ensuring HMS Caroline’s future is in Belfast.

“My Department has also set aside up to £100,000 towards remedial work this year on HMS Caroline. Fully restoring and preserving the ship will require significant funding and, to that end, we have had positive discussions with the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

Over recent years, Belfast has embraced its maritime past and rejuvenated the docklands where Titanic was built.

The Minister continued: “HMS Caroline is a strong and distinctive part of this Titanic Quarter and she has now the potential to become a must see attraction for local visitors and tourists alike.

“HMS Caroline is part of the fabric of Belfast and she is also an integral part of our maritime history. The ship is of outstanding national significance and HMS Caroline has huge potential as a visitor experience as she is listed on the National Register of Historic Vessels.”

HMS Caroline, is the last surviving warship of the Battle of Jutland and was decommissioned as the Headquarters of the Ulster Division of the Royal Naval Reserve on 31 March last year (2011). The ship has been berthed in Belfast since 1924.

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