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HISTORY AND CONSTITUTIONAL STATUS
The Original Port of Warrenpoint was constructed in the late 1770s and acted as a lightering port for the much larger Port of Newry.
Following the demise of Newry Port Warrenpoint Harbour Authority was created as a Trust Port by legislation in 1971. The modern Port was completed in 1974 when it covered 28 acres. Since then the port has expanded to its current size of approximately 53 Acres. The Authority has just completed a £22 Million capital infrastructure project (under the terms of a Service of General Economic Interest with the Department for Regional Development) that includes, the construction of a 300 Metres of Deep Water Quay (7.5 Metres C.D), new Ro-Ro berthing facilities, additional lands and covered storage facilities and a new 100 Tonne mobile crane.
Warrenpoint Port is a Trust Port and like other Trust Ports across the UK is not owned by Government but operates autonomously and with a high degree of Public Accountability and a strong Public Interest ethos. The Port is required to operate in a commercial manner and is an independent statutory body governed by its own legislation.
The main governing legislation under which Warrenpoint Port operates is the Harbours Act (Northern Ireland) 1970, the Warrenpoint Harbour Authority Order 1971, the Harbours (Northern Ireland) Order 2002 and the Warrenpoint Harbour Authority Order (Northern Ireland) 2002. Under this legislation it is the duty of the designated Harbour Authority to take account of the Code of Practice as issued by the Department for Infrastructure. The current Code of Practice was issued in November 2003 and updated in May 2008.
There are no shareholders. Therefore any surplus funds generated from the business are ploughed back into the operation, maintenance and development of the port for the benefit of its stakeholders.
PORT LAND HOLDING
The modern Port of Warrenpoint was developed between 1972 and 1974 with the acquisition of the old Harbour (Kelly’s Coal), the Dow Mac Cement yards, the acquisition of Warrenpoint Railway Station and marshalling yards and the reclamation of land from the sea culminating in a working harbour area of approximately 28 acres. Over the years as the Harbour’s business grew it became imperative that further adjacent land should become available for storage and transiting of goods. This was achieved by the purchase of theTaylor Jones premises in 1992, the Farrell’s Yard purchase in 1992, the Aylesforte House Hotel purchase in 2007, the Engalv yard in 2011 and the Gilbert Ash site in 2012. Thus the Harbour owns a 53 acre plot stretching from the Town Dock to the Roundabout. Comparison with other ports in Britain and the Republic of Ireland demonstrates that Warrenpoint Port is one of the most efficient when comparing throughput per acre because of its relatively small size and significant tonnage. The challenge has always been to keep goods moving in order to prevent congestion at the quays and storage