The construction of Southampton’s prestigious international visitor attraction, the Sea City museum, reached a key milestone last week with the final stages of the new special exhibitions pavilion nearing completion.
To mark this significant stage in the project, Southampton City Council and Kier Southern held a topping out ceremony to celebrate reaching the highest point of the build - the tip of the pavilion.
During the ceremony, the first metal coping was placed on the pavilion roof by Southampton’s Mayor, Cllr Terry Matthews, alongside fellow councillors and Kier Southern director Martin Orr and site manager Andy Hammerton.
Sea City, which has been supported with a £4.9m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, is scheduled to open to the public in April 2012, 100 years after the Titanic tragedy.
At the ceremony, cabinet member for resources, leisure and culture, Cllr John Hannides, said: “I’m genuinely excited that the build of Sea City is progressing so well and we have reached the highest point of the pavilion.
“I am sure residents are as proud as I am that the high-profile Sea City is moving ahead and remains on course to open its doors in April next year.
“The attraction will not only bring together the city’s heritage, it will attract thousands of visitors and create many new jobs. This investment demonstrates our ongoing plans to develop Southampton as the capital of the south.”
Kier Southern director Martin Orr added: “The whole team at Kier Southern are extremely pleased to be involved with this prestigious project for Southampton and are excited to mark reaching this significant milestone.
“Once complete, Sea City will showcase Southampton’s maritime past and the topping out of the nine-metre high pavilion is a celebration of how far the build has already come in achieving this.”
Sea City is part of Southampton’s emerging Cultural Quarter set to bring more than 2000 direct jobs and an additional £21m of visitor spend to the city each year. The museum will feature two permanent exhibitions covering the role of Southampton as a ‘gateway to the world’ and Southampton’s Titanic story. A temporary exhibition, which will run for one year from opening, will be all about the legend of the Titanic.