Translink has welcomed the announcement from the Department for Infrastructure that planning permission has been granted for the new Belfast Transport Hub.
This transport led regeneration project is one of the NI Executive Flagship Projects and a key element in delivering the outcomes of the draft Programme for Government. It will be a key driver of economic growth and prosperity for Belfast and Northern Ireland.
Following the Department’s announcement earlier today, Translink Group Chief Executive, Chris Conway said,
“We welcome today’s announcement, the scheme which will take around 5 years to complete is a further milestone in the transformation of public transport in Northern Ireland. It is hugely important as the main transport gateway, with rail, coach and bus connections to all parts of Northern Ireland and beyond.
“It will provide over 400 direct jobs during construction as well as additional longer term investment and job opportunities”.
“As a catalyst for the regeneration of the local area, the plans will play a key role in positioning Belfast as a modern, confident and progressive city supporting the City Councils Belfast Agenda.
“We have seen strong passenger growth in recent years with a record 81 million passenger journeys last year, the highest in 20 years. This modern, innovative Transport Hub will allow us to build on this success, to meet growing customer demand, increase transport connectivity and enhance the customer experience as even more people choose to use public transport.
“There is widespread support across the local community, businesses, city stakeholders and political parties, and we are delighted that this project has been given the green light.
“We look forward to getting this ‘transport led regeneration’ project underway, in order to meet the future needs of commuters, visitors and residents in Northern Ireland. We will continue to work with all our stakeholders as the development progresses”, Chris concluded.
The impressive multi-million-pound facility is being designed by leading architectural practice John McAslan + Partners with Arup.
John McAslan, Chairman of John McAslan + Partners said, “This major development of an integrated bus and rail transport facility will form a key gateway into Belfast’s city centre. Our proposal improves permeability across the site, integrates the new station with the existing city grain and creates new civic spaces – a high quality urban realm befitting this progressive and ambitious city.”
Chris Caves, Infrastructure Director from the local design team Arup Belfast said, “Staff at Arup’s 100-strong Belfast office feel honoured to have contributed their expertise to this transformative development for Northern Ireland. Our global experience has taught us the importance of cities and regions investing in high-quality public transport infrastructure to drive inclusive growth.”
Support for the Transport Hub has come from right across the community, including passengers, local residents, businesses and representative organisations, tourism sector and elected representatives. Here are just some examples:
In the statutory pre-application community consultation exercise the proposals received the following feedback:
88% supported the Hub in principle
82% supported creation of a new civic square
“The Institute of Directors fully support the delivery of the Belfast Transport project and all of the economic and social opportunities this will create for our city and economy.”
“Northern Ireland Chamber endorses the Transport Hub project, and the significant regeneration benefits that the Hub will bring to Belfast and the wider region by bringing the cross border Enterprise service back into Belfast.”
“The CBI believes that the investment in the Belfast Hub, the flagship project prioritised in the Programme for Government, will inevitably generate social and economic benefits far beyond the proposed multimillion investment fund.”
“The enhanced transport connectivity which the hub will provide will contribute to ensuring that the whole of Northern Ireland benefits and that the goal of a wider balanced, regional economy is achieved. (Invest NI)”
“As owner of the Europa Hotel, I wanted to support the transport hub, and say how important it is to our local tourism economy (worth £1bn pa) that we continue to develop our transport infrastructure.”
“The membership of Sandy Row Community Forum….support the full planning application for the Belfast Transport Hub and the full implementation of the community benefit initiatives agreed with the project promoter in a timely fashion that realises the potential of the scheme of a transport-led regeneration initiative.”
Grosvenor Road Community… “The Transport Hub will significantly benefit both Belfast and the localities. This will help to enhance use of public transport and stimulate local employment in areas facing disadvantage. The scheme will enhance the physical appeal and positive footfall on the Grosvenor Road and will encourage more people to visit a wider range of areas in Belfast including West.
Greater Village Regeneration Trust, “lends its support to the planning application for the development of the Transport Hub and welcomes the benefits that this project will bring to the local area, not only in terms of transport, but also around employment opportunities and public realm improvements and hopefully it will encourage additional investment in the wider inner south area”.
“The Grand Opera House is pleased to lend its support to the Belfast Transport Hub. As the closest venue to the new Hub I believe the project will bring huge benefits to not only Belfast, but also the much needed regeneration of the Great Victoria Street area.”
“In light of its strategic and economic significance, the Committee (of Belfast City Council) wanted to explicitly express its support of the proposed development.”
“The Belfast Trust would like to record its full support for the project. The hub will significantly improve connectivity for patients, visitors and staff at our hospitals.”
“I am writing to confirm our (Project Hope) support for the Belfast Transport Hub. It is clear that this will lead to a step change in the development of Belfast, providing essential improvements to access to our city and also acting as a catalyst for development and regeneration of this area of the city centre.”
Belfast Chamber welcomes and supports the proposal for the Belfast Transport Hub which will help to achieve a modal shift to public transport. The Belfast Hub will bring much needed regeneration to this area of the city centre and undoubtedly will be an asset to the whole city.
As our local tourism economy is worth £1bn per annum, we strongly believe that we must develop and modernise our transport infrastructure to support our growing transport offer. (Visit Belfast)