BME announces Liverpool operator

The British Music Experience, UK’s Museum of Popular Music, has selected Titanic Belfast Ltd as Operator of the BME at the Cunard building. Titanic Belfast expands its portfolio running culturally significant heritage destinations.

The British Music Experience (BME) today announced it has awarded the bid to become Operator of the Museum destined for the Cunard building to Titanic Belfast Ltd. After a highly competitive bidding process the team from Titanic Belfast Ltd won over the Trustees of the British Music Experience. Liverpool City Council who is partially funding BME’s move to Liverpool fully supported the decision.

The procurement portal received dozens of company registrations and several full submissions. Third party operators with a solid track record in the attraction and heritage sector were required to meet evaluation criteria measuring financial proposals on a par with social value, operational expertise, technical ability as well as implementation and delivery.

Titanic Belfast Ltd, a sister company of the owners and operators of the Titanic Hotel, Liverpool, currently operates a 25- year management contract as the commercial operator of Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience, on the very site in the city’s maritime dockyards where the iconic ship was designed, built and ultimately launched from its slipway.

Having welcomed nearly three million visitors since its opening on March 31 2012, from over 140 different countries, Titanic Belfast now stands at the heart of destination marketing for brand Belfast, brand Northern Ireland, and indeed brand Ireland. It is also a symbol of confidence, acting as a popular backdrop for national and international events.

Whilst the construction project was a means of the city of Belfast reclaiming back its national heritage of the story of Titanic, the project had a very clear European dimension to it, effectively positioning Belfast and Northern Ireland as a place you would want to visit. The objective was to create a new type of international visitor to Northern Ireland, and so provide the associated growth and economic benefit that would provide for sustainability in the long term.

Titanic Belfast Ltd operate not only Titanic Belfast, but also the SS Nomadic Belfast and the Titanic Exhibition Centre a 5,000 sq. m trade fair and event space.

Tim Husbands, MBE, (CEO, Titanic Belfast) said about being awarded the BME Operator bid, “Titanic Belfast is delighted to have been awarded such a prestigious contract and we are honored to be given the opportunity to be associated with the telling of such an important national story, and for it to be set in Liverpool, the city that has had so much influence over the development of popular music over the years.  We look forward to working closely with the city’s agencies and the people of Liverpool, and to helping grow further the reputation of the city as a leading European tourism destination.”

Whilst Titanic Belfast will be bringing a great deal of mobilization experience to the BME, the company will be setting up operations in Liverpool, and locally hire approximately 35 FTE’s in the coming months to operate the BME, opening up in the Autumn later this year.

After a five-year run at The O2, London, the BME is working alongside the City of Liverpool to fit out the pier-side former Passenger Hall measuring 19,000 square feet.

Chair of The BME, Harvey Goldsmith CBE, said “The Trustees of the BME are thrilled to partner with the Titanic Belfast team. What they have accomplished in Belfast is incredibly significant. With the BME, Liverpool City Council and the Titanic Belfast team we want to further root the UK’s music heritage in the heart of Liverpool, just as the story of Titanic is now docked in Belfast and an international destination.”

The BME brings its collection of over 600 rare objects and artefacts and digital archive which cohesively charts the history of popular music in the UK from 1945 to present day. The Museum will consist of chronological galleries organised by musical era which follow a timeline of social, political and artistic movements in the UK. Visitors will meet the architects of a genre or sound and have a sneak peak behind the scenes to discover how and why these shifts occurred.

Whilst an interactive instrument studio will allow people to unleash the rock ‘n’ roll within them, others can learn how to do the Twist in the dance booth or perhaps flick through virtual record collections.

Tablets and smartphones can also be used to unlock the display cases and listen to tracks, learning the secrets kept behind the glass doors.

The BME will also have a café overlooking the Mersey and a shop providing a range of desirable music and pop-culture related products.

Additionally, the BME will host Learning and Public Programmes to further enrich the museum experience and reach, through a range of events; from educational workshops for school children tied to the national curriculum, to master classes and gigs hosted by industry experts.  It will also offer a unique and engaging venue for corporate events and after parties.

The British Music Experience is a registered not-for-profit charity with the purpose of advancing the education and appreciation of the art, history and science of music in Britain (registered charity no.1125752). The BME is managed by an independent Board of Trustees and chaired by Harvey Goldsmith, CBE.