FIRST impressions are always important.

Civic chiefs are now hoping a positive response from the people given the earliest views of Southampton’s new £15m SeaCity Museum are a sign of things to come.

Specially invited guests, ranging from hoteliers and taxi drivers to schoolchildren, have this week been given a sneak peek around the attraction.

Bosses are using the visits to make sure everything works at the museum, and are using feedback to make any last-minute tweaks ahead of its doors being officially thrown open.

Council chiefs say feedback from visitors so far has been “very positive”, while the response from Daily Echo readers to the glimpses they have given from inside the museum has also been encouraging.

Southampton’s leisure and culture boss, Cllr John Hannides, said he is pleased with the first impressions.

Good feedback He said: “The feedback has been good.

“This is an exercise in how it functions in terms of how everything is laid out, and making sure everything works, and making sure everything runs smoothly on the day. There’s always the possibility of teething problems when you open something on the scale we are and these sessions are extremely helpful.

“A few very minor practical things have been pointed out that we’ve already acted on, so we’re pleased with how things are going so far.

“We’ve been very keen to make sure we’ve attracted as many people across the activities in the city as possible.

“They are very important to us because we hope they will be the voices promoting SeaCity to their own customers.”

SeaCity will open to the public on April 10 – 100 years to the day after Titanic set sail from Southampton on its ill-fated maiden voyage.

Its unveiling will be the central focus of the city’s commemorations as the world’s gaze is expected to be on Southampton.

The museum has been a cause for controversy during the five years it has been planned, with critics arguing the city council should have spent the money protecting public services, and jobs and wages for its workers.

Find out more about Titanic

You can find out more about Titanic and the disaster's impact on Southampton with the Daily Echo.

Throughout the coming months ahead of the centenary in April, we will be showcasing unique content in our Titanic mini-site.

In the meantime, you can discover key sites across the city relating to the tragedy, the latest news relating to the ship or even find out some of the key facts behind the vessel, her demise and the people who perished and survived, including a list of all the crew members and the locations of their homes in Southampton.