Belfast’s historic Titanic Pump-House is to be converted into a new whiskey distillery and world-class visitor attraction.
The Pump-House, a listed Edwardian building in the heart of Belfast’s Titanic Quarter, along with the neighbouring Thompson Dry-Dock, opened in 1911 to accommodate the building of the massive White Star transatlantic liners Olympic, Titanic and Britannic.
The Pump-House is the world’s only authentic Titanic landmark.
An incredible technological achievement in its day, it still features the massive original machines that worked the mighty dry-dock as well as the tools used by the workers to bring the world’s largest ships to life.
Now an ambitious plan by Titanic Distillers to convert it into a whiskey distillery has been approved, ensuring that the building will be restored to its former glory, preserving its historical integrity and safeguarding it for future generations.
All the original pump equipment and associated internal features of the building will be retained and available to view as part of a visitor tour.
An adjacent tourism centre will include an on-site ‘speakeasy’ bar and café, gift shop, exhibition space and an enlarged mezzanine floor with tasting rooms.
Visitors to the restored Pump-House will ‘clock in’, as workers did a century ago, to view the workings of the distillery and hear the story of Belfast’s whiskey tradition, why it disappeared and how it has returned with the city’s first working whiskey distillery in more than 100 years.
“Belfast was once the largest producer of Irish Whiskey on the island of Ireland,” says Titanic Distillers Director Peter Lavery.
“Whiskey has played an important part in the history of our city. We want to revive this great distilling tradition and bring Belfast back to the forefront of Irish whiskey production, while at the same time telling the story of a glorious past when Belfast led the way globally – not just in shipbuilding but across many areas of industry, manufacturing and innovation.”
The Titanic Pump-House is within walking distance of Titanic Belfast, the world’s biggest Titanic exhibition centre and Northern Ireland’s number one tourist attraction.
Spanning six floors, Titanic Belfast features nine interpretive and interactive galleries that explore the sights, sounds, smells and stories of the famous liner, as well as the city, shipyard and people that made her.
Also resident in the Titanic Quarter is the SS Nomadic tender ship which ferried passengers to the ill-fated liner, and HMS Caroline, a decommissioned C-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy that saw combat service in the First World War.
HMS Caroline is the only surviving vessel from history’s greatest naval engagement, the Battle of Jutland.
Beautifully restored, it is now a floating museum of maritime history retaining original features on the bridge, living quarters and engine rooms.