Published: 19th November 2019

New Chair Ready to Unlock the True Potential of Belfast’s Iconic Heritage Waterfront


Titanic Foundation, the charity set up to preserve and promote Belfast maritime and industrial heritage, including the development of Titanic Belfast, are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Chair and two new Trustees to their Board.

Marie-Thérése McGivern, Chief Executive of Belfast Metropolitan College, will take up the position of Chair, with Kevin Kingston, Chief Executive of Danske Bank UK & Gerry Hughes, President of Avison Young Europe, bringing their expertise to Titanic Foundation as new Trustees.

Welcoming her appointment, Marie-Thérése said: “I am thrilled to be able to help Titanic Foundation achieve its inspirational and ambitious plans and push forward into our next phase unlocking the true potential of Belfast’s iconic heritage waterfront. Creating a seamless, accessible and vibrant destination for both local people and visitors to the city.”

Last year, Titanic Foundation saved and restored one of the rarest lighthouse optics in the world, now publicly displayed on Belfast’s waterfront, an early win as they prepare plans to scale up public realm and animation as part of our ‘Maritime Mile’ ambitions. None of this would have been possible without their ability to work closely with their key stakeholders including Belfast Harbour Commissioners, the Northern Ireland Executive, Tourism NI, Belfast City Council, Titanic Quarter Limited and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

In 2019, Titanic Foundation and Belfast Harbour Commission, in collaboration with Titanic Quarter Limited and the Odyssey Trust, completed a scoping study of the Maritime Mile – the stretch of water from Lagan Weir to the Thompson Dry Dock. Covering one navigational mile of water, but includes over 10km of accessible land-based waterfront, and is being regenerated through a series of masterplans and strategies. The Maritime Mile study recommended 17 projects that run across all these strategies, ensuring a well-connected and uniquely curated experience across the city’s historic waterfront.

Kerrie Sweeney, Chief Executive of Titanic Foundation, highlighted: “We are extremely grateful to the outgoing Chair, Nicky Dunn OBE, for her excellent leadership over the past 6 years, and we are confident that as she hands over to, Marie-Thérése, Titanic Foundation will go from strength to strength.   Looking ahead to 2020, it is an exciting period for us as we embark on a new chapter and begin to implement the exciting plans created for the Maritime Mile. Driving local community engagement, heritage interpretation and restoration projects, volunteer initiatives and promote the usage of Belfast’s historic waterfront.

There are exciting times ahead as we plan to reveal a vibrant new brand identity and logo, as we align with the wider geographical area and become the recognised delivery body for co-ordinating, promoting and delivering the Maritime Belfast experience.”