Warrenpoint Port has unveiled a major 25-year growth plan as it forecasts a continued growth in trade following Brexit.
The Masterplan document, which covers 2018-2043, aims to build on the port’s position as the second largest port in Northern Ireland and as a major economic driver for the region.
The Port is a vital link in the supply chain for numerous businesses. It has the capability to handle a broad spectrum of goods including grain, timber, steel and cement and a full range of services including container and freight. Authorities at the Port, are anticipating a significant increase in trade over the coming decades with core roll on, roll off, freight expected to rise by up to 80% by 2040.
The draft document outlines key objectives including upgrading transport links to the Port, improving Port capacity and facilities, maintaining and growing its customer base and developing improved linkages with Warrenpoint town.
It identifies several key priorities to achieve these including:
- Delivery of the Southern Relief Road
- Redevelopment of the Town Dock in Warrenpoint Town Square
- Providing open public access to an expanded Marina.
Clare Guinness, CEO, Warrenpoint Port said: “Warrenpoint Port is enjoying a sustained period of growth resulting in record trade figures over recent years. In 2017, we handled 3.56 million tonnes of cargo worth £6.2 billion.
“Our draft Masterplan sets out a vision to continue that growth as we aim to maximise our contribution to the regional economy and community.
“It has been prepared during a period of some uncertainty and is designed to prepare the Port and the surrounding area to deal with Brexit and other upcoming challenges.
“Working with our key stakeholders including Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, government agencies, Newry Chamber of Commerce and the local community, the Masterplan will help us further accelerate the growth of the Eastern economic corridor and beyond, whilst remaining acutely aware of our responsibilities as custodians of the marine environment.”
Liam Hannaway, Chief Executive, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, said: “Warrenpoint Port’s draft Masterplan provides a welcome overview into the medium and long term objectives of one of the most important employers in the Newry, Mourne and Down district.
“The Port is a huge part of the local economic success story and, as one of its key stakeholders, we look forward to taking part in the consultation into the plans.”
Paul Convery, President, Newry Chamber of Trade and Commerce, commented: “As a key driver for economic prosperity, the region benefits greatly from having Warrenpoint Port on our doorstep.
“We are delighted to see the Port’s ambitions to grow further and share many of the aspirations included in the Masterplan including the prompt delivery of the Southern Relief Road.”