1. ITV Report

Titanic II: could this mean business for the Midlands?

The 'unsinkable' Titanic sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg, killing 1,500 people Photo: Blue Star Line

With news an Australian billionaire is planning to build a full life-size replica of the Titanic, could it mean work here for businesses in the Midlands?

Many items on the original ship were designed and made by companies in the region.

The beds were made in Birmingham, the crystal came from Stourbridge, the anchor forged in the Black Country, and the china made by Royal Crown in Derby - which recreated its Titanic tableware for last year's centenary of the tragedy.

Copies of first class china ware made by Royal Crown in Derby Credit: ITV Central
The Titanic's huge anchor was forged in Netherton in the Black Country Credit: ITV Central
Birmingham company Hoskins and Sewell fitted out cabins in the original ship Credit: ITV Central

Plans to build a full life size replica of the Titanic by mining tycoon Clive Palmer were revealed in New York yesterday.

Mr Palmer says the new ship will have all the latest safety measures including radar, and have more than enough lifeboats and inflatable rafts for the 2,400 passengers and 900 crew.

It will have a replica ornate staircase, Turkish baths, smoking rooms, and even the same "Marconi room" where the Titanic sent out its final SOS.

Click head to READ MORE on yesterday's Titanic II announcement.

A computer image of the hull of the Titanic II Credit: Blue Star Line

Passengers will even be provided with early-20th-century-style clothes and undergarments in their cabins.

So far 40,000 people have expressed interest in going on the ship, to be built on China. Some have offered one million dollars to be first on board, it has been reported.

1,500 people died when Titanic hit an iceberg on her way to New York in April 1912. Credit: PA
Clive Palmer, the Australian billionaire, announcing his plans for Titanic II in New York Credit: ITV Meridian

Clive Palmer made his money by building up a mining empire in Australia.

He says the new ship will be a tribute to those who died and is involving the family of survivors in the project to make sure the tone is right.

Work on 'Titanic II' is due to start later this year, with her maiden voyage planned from Southampton to New York in 2016.

The businessman has hired a Chinese ship builder to construct the Titanic II, but there are no details of who will make the interiors of the ship.

An original Titanic cabin to be recreated. Credit: Steve Hall Collection