Belfast Harbour announces £254m expansion

 

Northern Ireland’s Belfast Harbour has revealed plans to invest £254m in building and upgrading its marine and estate infrastructure.

Announced during Belfast Harbour’s annual stakeholder meeting on the 13th of September, the investment is set to be part of a 2019-2023 strategic plan.

Belfast Harbour CEO Joe O’Neill said: “These plans are among the most ambitious to be put forward in the port’s history, but the challenges and opportunities of the future demand a new approach.”

It is expected to create 10,500 jobs—7,000 in harbour development, 3,500 in construction work—as well as generating £500m gross value for the Northern Ireland economy, with an additional £300m per year in wages, according to an Ulster University study.

The infrastructure investment will be divided between several areas: upgrades to cranes and material handling equipment will come first, followed by new ramps, widening the shipping channel for larger ships, and constructing new storage facilities.

Further developments will come from creating deep-water quays, establishing a science and technology centre, and completing the 2 million square foot City Quays project. The proposal also includes new tourism projects, including cross-harbour bridges and even a water taxi service.

Belfast Harbour chairman David Dobbin said: “We want to become the world’s best regional port and create an iconic waterfront district for Belfast, which will be an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest in.

“This will bring huge benefits for our customers, the regional economy and all our citizens.”

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