A guide shows the history of the Thompson Graving Dock. An iconic part of Northern Ireland's industrial history and the largest authentic Titanic landmark in the world is being given a new lease of life after receiving £1.5m to secure its preservation. The Thompson Graving Dock, which has divided the dry dock from the sea for over a century, has been falling into disrepair in recent years. Flooding is also a major threat which could result in the area being significantly damaged Environment Minister Alex Attwood announced the significant investment on Thursday - the largest single investment ever by the DOE in support of a scheduled historic monument. Work has now begun to protect the 880ft long Thompson Graving Dock which is a key part of the historic infrastructure of the Belfast Shipyards, and is scheduled for protection under Article 3 of the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (NI) Order 1995. The work involves the creation of a permanent structure in the style of a gate outside the original dock gate. Currently under construction is a temporary coffer dam which will provide a dry working area around the original gate and Titanic slot. This will allow the construction of the permanent structure to safeguard the dock. The project is a joint venture by the DOE's Northern Ireland Environment Agency, which is funding the scheme, and the Northern Ireland Science Park, who are in charge of the dock's maintenance. Mr Attwood said: "The importance of the Thompson Graving Dock should be acknowledged; when it was completed in 1911 it was the largest dry dock in the world and without it the Titanic and its sister ships Olympic and Britannic, could not have been completed. "The dock is now over 100 years old and it is important that we take action to ensure its long term viability. The work will not only preserve the original dock gate but will also allow better public access to the dock and the working dock floor."