Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council in Northern Ireland has granted approval for the construction of a £2.5m (US$3.3m) retail and fuel forecourt adjacent to Belfast International Airport.
Local engineering firm Moorefield Contracts will be responsible for developing the new facility, with construction scheduled for completion in spring 2017. As well as a forecourt with 16 fueling bays, the 10,500ft² building will include a high street food retailer, sandwich bar, coffee kiosk, a hot food drive-thru and a children’s play area. It is estimated that the project will create 35 new jobs and will support 30 jobs during construction.
Canice Mallaghan, director at Moorefield Contracts, said, “We are delighted with the unanimous decision by the council in support of our application. Our £2.5m (US$3.3m) project mirrors the confidence that’s evident at the airport, which is enjoying unprecedented passenger growth. It’s also a clear vote of confidence in South Antrim and, clearly, the council has bought into our vision.
“The 35 permanent jobs will inject more than £500,000 (US$660,000) in wages annually into the local economy. We are engaged in positive discussions with a number of potential retail operators and expect to successfully conclude our negotiations within a matter of weeks.”
Katrina Gilchrist, property manager, Belfast International Airport, said, “This private investment will be a big success. We’re now back in the top ten of UK airports in terms of passenger numbers and with more than 4,000 pass holders working on the site, this welcome development couldn’t be better timed.
“Our success leads to more jobs and increased business opportunities. These are exciting times at the airport. We have more new routes about to come online this autumn and they will generate hundreds of thousands more passengers at the airport.
“Moorefield Contracts has identified the business opportunity and I’m certain others will follow their example as we continue to achieve further growth and expansion.”