Translink, Northern Ireland’s public transport operator, has announced the start of demolition works under the Belfast Transport Hub regeneration project.
Works have been initiated in the main construction site area situated along Grosvenor Road in the city centre.
Contractor John Tinnelly and Sons was appointed to complete the demolition of large old warehouse buildings signifying the first stage of enabling works to clear the site for future development.
Northern Ireland regional development minister Michelle McIlveen said: "The Transport Hub has been identified by the Northern Ireland Executive as one of seven flagship projects for funding, recognising its strategic importance in supporting the growth of the local economy.
"This impressive facility will be a catalyst for the regeneration of this area and ensure we have the right infrastructure in place to attract more people to use public transport.
"It will also act as an important gateway to Belfast as a modern, confident and progressive city."
It is reported that Translink is developing plans for an extensive redevelopment of Belfast Great Victoria Street station and the adjacent bus station to form an integrated Belfast Transport Hub.
The hub will combine bus and rail termini with interfaces to provide car, cycle, taxi and Belfast Rapid Transit. Translink also plan to bring all cross-border trains into the new facility, ensuring better connectivity and access between Belfast and Dublin.
Translink Group CEO Chris Conway said: "The popularity of public transport continues to grow and we want to offer attractive services and facilities that deliver an excellent customer journey experience.
"Investment in public transport infrastructure has a very positive impact on local and regional economies as evidenced in cities like London, Manchester and Birmingham."
Subject to planning and funding approvals, the Hub construction work is scheduled to start in 2018, with the opening planned in 2020.
Image: An artistic image of Belfast Transport Hub. Photo: courtesy of Translink.