Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has secured £2.8million of European funding to help progress the proposed Transport Hub in Belfast.
The funding will be used to take forward a technical development study for the hub which is planned for the site of the existing Great Victoria Street train and bus station in Belfast.
Danny Kennedy said: “Today is an important milestone in the delivery of a new Transport Hub for Belfast following my successful £2.8million bid to the European Commission.
“This is great news for public transport and the local economy. The TEN-T funding is a huge boost to help progress what is potentially the most economically important regional development project in Northern Ireland in decades.
“I am confident that ‘The Hub’ will transform public transport in Belfast and provide a high quality connection to our neighbouring Member State in the Republic of Ireland. The implications of this project are immense with wide ranging economic, social and environmental benefits.
“Service improvements on the primary rail transport corridor between Belfast and Dublin will mean more people will be empowered to do more business, more efficiently and more often.
“This development, in one of Belfast’s most socially deprived areas, will offer employment and mobility opportunities to local people while the positive environmental impacts of increasing Northern Ireland’s public transport footprint will benefit everyone through lower emissions and improvements to air quality.”
‘The Hub’ is set to be located on the 20 acre site of the existing Europa Buscentre and Great Victoria Street Train Station. Already around seven million passengers use these facilities each year and as more people choose to use the bus and train this is estimated to increase to around 13million passengers by 2030.
The news of successful EU Funding follows the Minister’s recent appointment of an Integrated Design Team for the project which comprises of Arup, Lead Architect Hiro Aso and John McAslan and Partners.