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RD12 /07

Regional Development Committee visits Newry and Warrenpoint

As part of its work on the ongoing Review of Trust Ports Policy in Northern Ireland, the Committee for Regional Development visited Warrenpoint Port and Harbour and held a public meeting in the Boardroom of Newry District Council on Wednesday 24 October 2007.

Chairperson of the Committee, Fred Cobain, MLA said:
“The Committee visited Warrenpoint to see for itself the day to day port activities and develop an on-the-ground understanding of the opportunities and challenges faced by the trust ports. The meetings with the Harbour Commissioners in Warrenpoint were very useful and informative.

“The Committee was impressed by the potential for growth in this sector – both locally to the ports and for Northern Ireland as a whole. Each of the trust ports is different however any new Ports Policy must allow for the continued growth of a competitive port sector for Northern Ireland, in a sustainable and accountable way.

Notes for Editors :

Members visited Belfast Harbour for a similar port briefing on 3 October, and Londonderry and Coleraine on 17 October 2007.

Ports policy: In June 2006 the Department for Regional Development (DRD) initiated consultation on a review of the powers, status and governance of public Trust Ports in Northern Ireland. The consultation focused on three key issues:

Whether and to what extent the ports should be given extended commercial powers;

Whether trust port status was a viable status for major commercial ports in Northern Ireland; and

Whether the non-port land holdings of Belfast are a relevant factor in the decision process.

This was part of a wider review and consultation on Ports Policy being undertaken by the Department for Transport (DfT) to which DRD has contributed.  The DRD consultation finished in September 2006 and DfT published interim findings in July 2007.

The Minister has indicated his hope to be in a position to take this forward in the coming months.

Membership of the Regional Development Committee is as follows:


Mr Fred Cobain

Deputy Chairperson:

Mr Jim Wells

Committee Members:

Mr William Irwin


Mr Stephen Moutray


Mr George Robinson


Mr Brian Wilson


Mr Cathal Boylan


Mr Willie Clarke


Mr Raymond McCartney


Mr John Dallat


Mr John McCallister

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