Translink has welcomed representatives from the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry on-site to a briefing on Belfast Grand Central Station and the Weavers Cross development to view progress and learn more about the impact this major project will have on the city and regional economy.
Main works are now underway at the 8-hectare site in Belfast city centre, with the facility due to enter operational service in 2025. The Weavers Cross project is currently awaiting planning approval.
Belfast Grand Central Station is a Flagship Project prioritised by the Northern Ireland Executive and will deliver a modern, world-class integrated transport hub to enhance local and international connectivity with bus, coach, and rail links across Northern Ireland and beyond. It will deliver a high-class customer experience for up to 20m passenger journeys annually. With the added benefits of active travel options, it will also play a major part in tacking the climate emergency and reducing congestion and pollution.
The facility will sit at the heart of the new Weavers Cross city neighbourhood, a name which reflects the area’s rich industrial heritage. It is a transport-led regeneration and economic revitalisation project and will act as a destination not only for travel, but for working, shopping, employment and living.
Patrick Anderson, Translink’s Chief Financial Officer, who hosted the meeting, said: ‘‘Belfast Grand Central Station and the associated Weavers Cross development will represent a new beginning for public transport. It will be a fully multi-modal transport facility, a highly impressive gateway to the city with significantly increased passenger capacity and active travel options, encouraging a healthier, greener society.
‘‘This development brings with it huge potential for the regional economy and is a huge vote of confidence in our post-pandemic society. We are grateful for the support of our colleagues at the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the project, which will provide approximately 500 jobs and boost local training and apprenticeship opportunities.’’
Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: ‘‘We were delighted to receive an update on the progress of Belfast Grand Central Station and Weavers Cross, which has the potential to be a major boost to the regional economy.
‘‘The project will provide huge opportunities for so many sectors in our economy, not only in jobs and training but in everything that comes afterwards; it is clear from other cities, that transport-led regeneration projects can drive investment, as well as shifts in habits in how people choose to move around cities and communities.
‘‘Construction and public transport act as drivers of our economy for the long-term and it’s been great to get an update on a project that will not only transform Belfast city centre and help the host communities reach their full potential but act as an economic driver.’’