The Belfast Transport Hub took a step closer to construction today as local company GRAHAM was announced as the contractor to deliver essential early engineering works to prepare the site ready for construction.
This £multi-million transport led regeneration project, a NI Executive Flagship project, will see the transformation of the 8-hectare city centre site, delivering a modern, high quality integrated transport hub to enhance local and international connectivity with bus, coach and rail links across Northern Ireland and beyond. It will be a key driver of social, economic and environmental wellbeing for Belfast and Northern Ireland and will be at the heart of an exciting new city neighbourhood called ‘Weavers Cross’ with imaginative mixed-use development proposals.
It is essential to delivering the ambitions of the draft Programme for Government and the Belfast Agenda.
Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive, said: “Today’s announcement marks an important milestone as we continue to move towards the start of construction. These site preparation works will take around 18 months to complete and include site clearance, utility diversions, ecology surveys, ground remediation, watercourse and drainage activities. This will ensure the site is ready for the main build phase in 2021 and that construction teams and materials are able to enter and begin work safely and efficiently.
“We are looking forward to working with GRAHAM to start the delivery of this exciting world-class facility. These initial works will see up to 100 jobs generated with potential for up to 400 from the entire scheme. Local employment opportunities will be developed through the Belfast City Council’s Construction Employment Academy.
“We have built up strong links and have widespread support across the local community, businesses, city stakeholders and political parties for this scheme. We will continue to engage with them in partnership with our contractor as we make progress.
“We have seen strong passenger growth in recent years – now carrying a record 84.5m passenger journeys. The impressive new hub will help us to build on this, with increased capacity vital to delivering our ambitious plans to transform public transport.”
Leo Martin, GRAHAM Civil Engineering Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to deliver the essential early engineering works for the construction of the new Belfast Transport Hub.
“We’re looking forward to working with Translink again – having successfully collaborated on high-profile projects in the past including the new train maintenance facility at Adelaide Depot and, most recently, the new Portrush Train Station.
“This latest scheme will not only help to transform an 8-hectare city centre site but it will also be a key driver of social, economic and environmental wellbeing for Northern Ireland.
“GRAHAM has a proven track record in the successful delivery of transformational civil engineering projects similar to the Belfast Transport Hub, and our highly skilled teams are renowned across the UK and Ireland for the very highest standards of work, professionalism and technical expertise.
“Over the next 18 months, our important works programme will ensure the site is ready for the main build phase in 2021 and that construction teams and materials are able to enter seamlessly and begin work safely and efficiently.”
The project in its entirety is due to take up to five years to complete.