Dublin Port Company has announced its intention to hand over ownership of part of Bull Island to the people of Dublin.

The company said this will be the community gain element of a project to redevelop the city's port facilities.

Dublin Port owns around ten hectares of the island, including the wooden bridge used as access to Dollymount Beach.

It proposes to hand this over to Dublin City Council, along with over €1 million towards improving facilities on the island, which is a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve.

These will include a new interpretative centre, facilities for visitors and wildlife conservation measures.

The port company said this is part of its masterplan, which includes the proposed development of more than 3km of new deeper berths for passenger, freight and cruise ships in the city centre.

It has dropped, for the time being, long-standing attempts to reclaim more land from Dublin Bay to cater for increased cargo traffic.

The Bull Island initiative has been welcomed by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar, as well as Dublin City Council and local representatives.