New Belfast Harbour pedestrian bridge in development
A NEW pedestrian bridge and a zero emission ferry from Belfast city centre to Bangor could be in place within three years, Harbour bosses have said.
The trust port is mid-way through a £254 million capital investment programme that includes the expansion of film studios, new office developments and a new city garden.
But chief executive Joe O’Neill said the harbour is now at the advanced design stage on a new pedestrian bridge that will link the front of the Odyssey Pavilion to an area between the AC Marriott Hotel and City Quays 3 tower.
He said the bridge is informing the plans to introduce a new zero-emission commuter ferry linking Bangor to Donegall Quay on the outskirts of Belfast city centre.
The vessel, under development by Artemis Technologies, will be operated by Condor Ferries, with a launch likely in 2025.
“We’ve decided we want better connectivity,” said Mr O’Neill of the bridge.
He said the expansion of the Titanic Quarter coupled with the upsurge in student numbers at the new Ulster University campus means footfall will continue to rise in the coming years.
“We’re at the advanced design stage. It’ll probably be a couple of years before you see it physically delivered, but a lot of work in the preparatory stage.”
The harbour is also developing City Quays Gardens, with an initial £3m to be spent on turning large areas of car parks into new green space.
He confirmed work is now complete on the new City Quays office tower, while a second major office scheme – Olympic House – is well advanced on other side of the River Lagan.
The Harbour is also continuing to develop plans for City Quays 4, a 260-unit build-to-rent residential tower which will be built next to the M3 flyover.
City Quays 5 is also in the works, with a site identified next to the Belfast Harbour Commissioner’s office.
Meanwhile, Mr O’Neill confirmed that Belfast Harbour is in active talks with major studios for future productions
“We have the two largest individual stages outside of Pinewood, which means we’re targetting the big productions.
“There is healthy interest, and that’s underpinning our investment decision we’ll take shortly as regards expansion.”