£2.5M airport forecourt to land in 2017

£2.5M airport forecourt to land in 2017

Plans for a £2.5 million forecourt adjacent to Belfast International Airport have been cleared for take-off.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council unanimously approved the project on July 20.

It will create 35 new jobs and support 30 more during construction.

The new Airport Road facility is scheduled to open in the spring of next year.

Developer, Dunadry-based Moorefield Contracts Ltd, will construct the planned 10,500 sq ft retail outlet. It will include a high street food retailer, sandwich bar, coffee kiosk, hot food drive-thru, children’s play area, and forecourt with 16 fuelling bays.

Welcoming the planning approval, Canice Mallaghan from Moorefield Contracts said: “Our £2.5 million 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 half a million pounds 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.”

Belfast International Airport said this summer is its busiest ever, and expects to exceed five million passengers this year with further growth anticipated next year.

Its property manager, Katrina Gilchrist, has also welcomed the council’s decision.

“This private investment will be a big success,” she said. “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 on stream this autumn and they will generate hundreds of thousands more passengers and friends and family to 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.”