Belfast City Hall
Venue: Lavery Room - City Hall
Contact: Henry Downey, Democratic Services Officer x6311
Apologies were reported on behalf of Alderman Spence and Councillors S. Baker, Beattie, Lyons, Murphy and Whyte.
Declarations of Interest
No declarations of interest were reported.
Belfast Harbour Strategic Plan
To receive from representatives of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners a presentation on the Belfast Harbour Strategy 2019 – 2023.
The Committee was reminded that, at its meeting on 7th August, it had agreed to receive at a future meeting a presentation from representatives of the Belfast Harbour Commissioners on its Strategic Plan for 2019 – 23 and vision to 2035.
Accordingly, Dr. D. Dobbin, Chairman, Mr. J. O’Neill, Chief Executive, and Ms. A. Dowling, Communications and Marketing Manager, were welcomed to the meeting.
Dr. Dobbin informed the Committee that Belfast Harbour had a statutory duty to efficiently and effectively maintain, operate and develop Belfast Port for the benefit of users and wider stakeholders. Whilst its Trust Port Status prevented it from receiving public funding, it did allow for all of its net earnings to be reinvested into the development of the Port and the Harbour Estate.
He drew the Members’ attention to the following key information:
· more than £250 million had been invested over the past ten years in equipping and developing the Belfast Harbour to deliver wider economic and job creation benefits;
· around 24 million tonnes of goods passed through Belfast Port each year, making it the tenth largest port in the United Kingdom in terms of cargo shipment;
· 1,500 people lived currently within the Harbour Estate;
· 760 businesses operated currently within the Harbour Estate;
· 27,000 people either worked or studied with the Harbour Estate each day;
· the Harbour Estate was a major tourism and leisure destination and attracted five million visitors annually; and
· there had been a marked growth in the number of cruise ships docking in Belfast Harbour in recent years, with almost 150 expected during 2019.
He explained that Belfast Harbour was now preparing for the next phase in its development and highlighted its innovative and ambitious new strategic plan, which set out its proposals for 2019 – 2023 and ambitions up to 2035, under an enlivened vision of creating a key regional hub for trade, tourism and tradeable services and an iconic waterfront for the City.
Mr. O’Neill reported that the strategic plan would be underpinned by five interdependent themes, namely, a Growing Port, a Green Port, a Smart Port, a Connected Port and an Iconic Waterfront for the City and that the organisation would strive to be adaptable, collaborative, customer-focussed, innovative and receptive in all aspects of its work. He pointed out that it would be working in partnership with key organisations, through a series of Memorandums of Understanding, to deliver many of its initiatives and highlighted its involvement with the Council through, for example, the Belfast Region City Deal and the Belfast Agenda.
He reported further that, between 2019 and 2023, Belfast Harbour was planning to invest £254 million which, for the Belfast Port, would see the rolling out of Smart Port initiatives, the installation of a new ramp to accommodate larger ferries, the construction of a new quay to cater for the increasing number of cruise ships and investment in new feeds storage and important maintenance works. In terms of the Harbour Estate, the investment would lead to a ... view the full minutes text for item 3.