The Lancashire port is set to benefit from plans by owner Peel for a link-span bridge to allow access to larger vessels operating on the Irish Sea, and a fourth berth for freight and passenger traffic.
The £10m investment by Peel Ports will also see a new pontoon built to support offshore crew transfer vessels, a port entrance created and various improvements to the port IT and terminal operating systems.
Work will begin in November and is expected to be completed by October 2017.
The Bay Gateway, a link road connecting the port and the M6, bypassing congestion in Lancaster, is set to open on 31 October. Heysham is the closest port for several major offshore infrastructure projects including the proposed National Grid connection of Moorside nuclear power station in Cumbria, and the Dong Energy Walney Extension wind farm.
The Port of Heysham is one of seven statutory harbour authorities owned and operated by Peel Ports, with deep water harbouring able to accommodate some of the world’s biggest roll-on/roll-off ships, known as RoRo vessels, and daily sailings from providers such as Seatruck, Stena Line and the Isle of Man Steam Packet.
David Huck, port director, said: “This is a transformational time for Heysham port. We’ve already been working with local partners to maximise the benefits of the Bay Gateway link road project to the community. Now our major investment to increase capacity and flexibility will further strengthen the port’s role as a logistics hub for the region, particularly for services to Ireland and the Isle of Man. We’ve also built in an element of future-proofing, giving us the ability to accommodate projected volumes for many years to come.”