A maritime enthusiast is aiming to set up a Titanic heritage centre in the Midlands, as the focal point of events marking the tragedy's 100th anniversary in 2012.
Howard Nelson, from Coventry, has already established the world's only Titanic Heritage Trust and believes the Midlands would be an ideal home for a museum dedicated to the Titanic as it has many links with the world's most famous ship.
The 60-year-old author said: "The links between the Titanic and the region aren't immediately obvious but the two are strongly tied.
"The ship's captain was born in Stoke and there is a statue of him in Lichfield. The ship's anchors were made in the Black Country, the internal fittings were furnished in the West Midlands, and the officers' buttons were made in Birmingham."
Mr Nelson set up the trust on December 1 after receiving help from Coventry University's business start-up programme Vision Works. He was put in contact with his own business mentor and solicitors.
"I've been fascinated by the Titanic ever since my father took me to see the original film, A Night to Remember, when I was 12," he said.
"I first started thinking of setting up the trust in the late 1970s but had almost given up hope."
Before the heritage centre can become a reality, the trust's first challenge is to help raise £170,000 to save the SS Nomadic, which is due to go under the hammer at auction in less than a month.
The ship is the last surviving link to the Titanic and was used to ferry passengers from Cherbourg to the massive liner, which was too large to dock at the French port.
The Nomadic is also the last surviving White Star Line boat, and was built at the same site as the Titanic - the Har-land & Wolff shipyard in Belfast.
The ship is currently at Le Havre, but a group of maritime enthusiasts including Mr Nelson are aiming to buy it at auction, and bring it back to Belfast where it will be restored by Harland & Wolff using the original designs.
"We desperately want to buy Nomadic - if we don't, it will be scrapped and an important part of history will be lost," Mr Nelson said.