A LANDMARK building on the skyline of Southampton’s docks is to disappear as part of a £4.3million improvement.

The former Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) building is being taken down along with a dry goods storage shed in the city’s Eastern Docks.

The Port of Southampton says it is maximising quayside space so the world’s biggest ships can continue to call at the docks.

Southampton is the UK’s number one port and main port for the motor industry, handling 900,000 cars a year.

The latest £4.3m project is part of a programme of investment in infrastructure and quayside facilities by port operator ABP.

ABP says the space generated will play a critical role in the movement and trade of ‘high and heavy’ goods – typically exports of farm, construction or specialist machinery and vehicles.

Once work is complete, the largest roll-on, roll-off car carriers in the world will be able to berth in the newly created space.

Alastair Welch, ABP’s regional director for Southampton, said: “Continued investment around the port is essential and ensures that we stay one step ahead of adapting to our customers’ growing and changing needs.”

The Port of Southampton handles £71billion of trade every year, generating more than £2.5bn for the economy.

The work is the latest in a series of large scale projects aimed at ensuring the port can continue welcoming the world’s largest container ships and cruise terminals. ABP is spending £1billion over five years on its 21 ports.