A new transport hub in Belfast will be a gateway for visitors to the Province as well as local people, Transport Minister Danny Kennedy said yesterday.
Announcing the appointment of an integrated design team to look at the redevelopment of the current Europa bus terminal and Great Victoria Street railway station, Mr Kennedy described it as “one of the most exciting and ambitious public transport developments to be seen in Northern Ireland”.
The hub is to be located on the 20-acre site used by around seven million passengers a year.
The new design team and architects comprising Arup, lead architect Hiro Aso and John McAslan and Partners, have an extensive portfolio in the development and delivery of modern transport infrastructure facilities.
“It is vital that we grow our already excellent public transport infrastructure to meet the increase in demands that we know are ahead of us,” said Mr Kennedy.
“As well as the improved transport links, this project also offers huge benefits for Belfast and Northern Ireland as a whole.”
The project, he said, had been cited in the recent Urban Strategies report from Belfast City Council as one of the key elements to the overall vision of Belfast as a modern European city, helping to attract tourism and investors which would significantly boost the region’s economy.
“The hub has the very clear potential to strengthen the heart of Belfast. This will bring with it employment for the construction sector, business for local retailers and jobs in the service sectors – this is also good news for the neighbouring communities,” he said.