Business

Belfast Harbour relaunches bid for new logistics hubs at city docks

A computer generated impression of the proposed Westbank Road facility.

BELFAST Harbour has redrawn plans for a new logistics hub at the city docks.

Harbour Commissioners originally proposed a larger development on the Westbank Road three years ago.

But against a backdrop of rising activity at the port and a constraint on industrial space, a £9 million project has been relaunched with property developer Bywater in a slightly smaller form.

A public consultation process is already under way.

The proposal involves a 50,000 sq ft warehouse distribution facility next to the Stena terminal.

Belfast Harbour said it will support the port's position as a regional distribution hub for raw materials, exports and consumer goods, with convenient access to the strategic road network.

Plans provide for 17 loading docks and 45 HGV parking spaces.

Traffic is reportedly up at a number of key ports in the north.

Seatruck Ferries chief executive Alister Eagles this week said traffic at Belfast Port was up 14.7 per cent for the first six months of 2021.

Larne was up 18.5 per cent, according to the transport boss, while the smaller Warrenpoint Port was up 23.5 per cent.

The Belfast Harbour project has been launched against a backdrop of a significant shortage in industrial and logistics sites across Northern Ireland.

Industry insiders have claimed the shortfall is restricting local firms in scaling up and putting off new entrants setting up here.

Bywater Properties is already involved in a number of commercial projects in Belfast city centre. Its biggest development centres on a major regeneration scheme in the Smithfield Market area.

The overall project is understood to involve an investment in the region of £60m.

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