NEW owners say they hope their 1million investment within the first month demonstrates their commitment to Heysham Port.
When the Mersey Docks and Harbour Company took control of the local port last month there were fears Heysham could become a ‘poor relation’ of the company’s main base at Liverpool.
But MDHC bosses say that the two ports complement each other and they are already planning expansion of Heysham with new container storage areas and the possibility in the longer term of accommodating bigger ships.
Work on a 1 million upgrade of the container base - to significantly increase its capacity - should start within the next couple of months.
And a longer term aim is to develop Heysham so that it can accommodate ships up to 150m long - the current docks can only take 135m ones. Peter Jones, MDHC chief executive said: “We don’t see the two ports as being in conflict.
“Heysham has a very strong role with regard to Northern Ireland and Liverpool has the same with Southern Ireland.
“We see them as complementary and it was a misreading of the situation to think we could force traffic away from Heysham and into Liverpool. They both have their own distinct routes. They are the two best west coast ports in terms of inland haulage and logistics.”
Mr Jones added that the new owners would carry on previous management’s support for the proposed Heysham to M6 road link.
“It would really underpin the strength of Heysham and make it an even more attractive proposition,” Mr Jones said.