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Construction begins on £2.5m retail hub at Belfast International Airport

By Rachel Martin

Work is under way on a new £2.5m retail, food hall and fuel forecourt at Belfast International Airport.

Co Tyrone Building and civil engineering contractors RJ McKelvey Ltd saw off competition from several other firms to win the contract to carry out the work on the 1.6-acre site.

The project is expected to take seven months to complete and will create around 35 full and part-time jobs, generating £500,000 in wages.

Developer Moorefield Contracts said RJ McKelvey had the right level of know-how and experience to complete the privately-financed construction project.

Canice Mallaghan of Moorefield Contracts said: "A proven track record in construction, combined with an ability to stick to budget, were important factors in awarding the contract to RJ McKelvey.

"We're pleased that the work is going to be carried out by a local firm that has earned an enviable reputation over its 31 years in operation.

"We have some top 'high street' names lined up to take space in our development. We're currently completing negotiations with retail and food providers which will add a whole new and exciting dimension to what's currently available in the immediate airport area. We expect to be a position to confirm names in coming weeks.

Robert McKelvey from RJ McKelvey Ltd said: "We're delighted to have won this important contract.

"This is a home-grown company awarding a contract to another local firm, and that means it's a win-win for the local economy.

"Moorefield Contracts have spotted an opening in the market near Belfast International Airport and I have no doubt but that it will be an unqualified success."

Brian Carlin from Belfast International Airport said: "We will have a record-breaking 2017, and that means higher demand for what will be on offer at this new, much-needed facility."

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