IT may be back to the drawing board with Londonderry’s Draft Legacy Plan as Ilex has confirmed a new maritime museum won’t be ready until 2017 - a year after Derry City Council’s mooted ‘Maritime City 2016.’
Last week the Sentinel reported for the first time on the local authority’s Draft Legacy Plan, which suggests the city kicks on from Londonderry UK City of Culture by becoming a ‘Maritime City’ in 2016 and that it could even bid for European Capital of Culture in 2023.
The provisional template states: “Maritime City will explore the impact of the river Foyle on the history of Derry-Londonderry and its people.
“It will celebrate the river’s significance for communities across the globe.
“The planned development of the Maritime Museum on the Ebrington site will help us reconnect with the Derry-Londonderry family across the world.”
Except, Ilex has now revealed that Maritime City’s centrepiece - a proposed new Maritime Museum in Ebrington - won’t be ready until 2017.
The regeneration company, which the Sentinel first revealed had plans for a museum in 2009, says work on Building 49 will begin in 2015 with the facility scheduled to open in 2017.
As recently as August, the Sentinel reported how a provisional opening date of Spring 2016 had been set for the museum’s opening. In February, the First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said it was too early to set a date.
In May, the Royal Naval Association (RNA) replicated the ‘Universal Mariner’ at Halifax, Nova Scotia, by unveiling the ‘International Sailor’ outside Building 49, in memory of those who died during the Battle of the Atlantic.