Northern Ireland

Belfast Transport Hub to create 400 jobs says Translink

Great Victoria Street
Image caption The planned hub will be at the Europa bus centre/Great Victoria Street railway station

Translink has said the development of its new Belfast Transport Hub could create up to 400 jobs over the next five years.

The planned hub will be at the Europa Bus Centre and Great Victoria Street railway station.

Graham Civil Engineering has been appointed as contractor for the first phase. Work is to begin in December.

Translink said the initial phase of the multi-million pound project will create 100 jobs for the local community.

Chief executive Chris Conway said more jobs will be created during the five-year development.

"This has the potential to create up to 400 jobs for the entire scheme," he said.

Image caption How the new transport hub is expected to look

"There are social clauses built into all the contracts that we have and we have set up an academy with Belfast City Council to enable local people to get on the ladder and to apply for the jobs as part of this project.

"The new hub is a key piece of infrastructure for Northern Ireland and Belfast, which will support and sustain the economy for decades to come.

"It's one of the executive flagship projects and we've had support from government departments and the council and the local community."

'Much-needed jobs'

Graham Civil Engineering has worked on previous Translink projects and secured this contract following a tender process.

Managing director Leo Martin welcomed the news.

"Unfortunately there's been, for various political reasons, a lack of work in civil engineering projects in Northern Ireland and this provides much-needed jobs for ourselves and our supply chain.

"Hopefully, when the political uncertainty moves on, we can get more road and rail infrastructure projects throughout Northern Ireland."

Some residents had opposed plans for the Transport Hub as the Boyne Bridge would be demolished.

Image caption Work is expected to start in December

The current bridge near Sandy Row was reconstructed in 1936, but its origins date back nearly 400 years.

William III, or King Billy, is believed to have crossed the site on his way to the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Translink has said the Boyne Bridge was to be replaced with a "new streetscape".

"Those issues have been talked through and discussed and we are very pleased that we have got the support of the community going forward," Mr Conway told BBC News NI.

"We have built up strong links and have widespread support across the local community, businesses and political parties for this scheme. We will continue to engage with them as we make progress."

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