Ritchie praises role of Warrenpoint at port conference

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Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie has said praised the role of Warrenpoint Port as a stimulus to the local and national economy. Ritchie was speaking at the British Ports Association’s (BPA) Conference in Newcastle. She said, “I was very glad to be speaking at the BPA’s conference in Warrenpoint, it was an excellent opportunity to highlight the important role South Down’s ports and harbours play, not only in the local economy but also the national economy. “Our ports sector is a major source of employment that creates a multiplier effect throughout the local economy, creating jobs indirectly in other industries. “For example, Warrenpoint Port employs or supports 1200 jobs in the local economy, either directly or indirectly through local suppliers for goods and services and ancillary business development often in adjacent business parks, haulage contractors, ships, chandlery and energy. “The signs are looking up also that the industry is growing from the recession and this bodes well for the wider economy. Ports are vital to the economies of island nations. “Ports must be allowed to operate and compete in a free commercial market and have a moral duty to operate in close harmony with their local environment. Warrenpoint Port succeeds in doing this, as like so many others, it sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty,” she continued. “Ports are at the forefront of developments of servicing new energy forms such as wind farms and bio fuels and therefore must play a proactive role in working with local stakeholders, such as the local Chambers of Commerce. “There is also an important need for the development of tourism ventures; visits of cruise liners, visits of tall ships, development of yachting harbours and marinas. This includes our indigenous tourists and working with the public – our sailing clubs, senior citizens and schools. Ritchie added, “Warrenpoint Port does all of these things and this makes it much more successful as a business in the locality, building trust and helping the port with such matters as planning and new business ventures.”
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