It’s pay-back time for Liverpool pier

/, Cruise News/It’s pay-back time for Liverpool pier

Liverpool has offered to repay more than £5 million it received in grants so the city can adapt its new cruise terminal to accommodate ship turnarounds.
The £21 million landing stage at the Pier Head – described by some as a “floating tea tray” – is within sight of the landmark Three Graces, the former Cunard headquarters, the Liver Building, and the offices of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, all built in the early 20th century.
But that’s as far as the heritage connection goes for the port from which millions sailed to America and Africa in the past. It cannot be used for passengers joining or disembarking from cruises, and is limited to handling passengers coming ashore for the day.
Cruise lines which use Liverpool as a base have been unhappy about the alternative facilities at Langton Dock, and Fred Olsen announced they will be pulling out after next season.
The burghers of Liverpool are now hoping to save their red faces by paying £5.3 million of grant money over the next 15 years if the restrictions are lifted.
Shipping minister Mike Penning said: “Liverpool has a rich maritime heritage spanning many centuries, and I am keen to see that continue. However, I have been clear throughout this process that I am equally committed to ensuring fair competition across all UK ports. That is why I am pleased that Liverpool City Council have come forward with proposals which recognise this.
“It is also important to hear the views of other interested parties, which is why I am launching a 10-week consultation.” Interested parties such as the Southampton and Newcastle-upon-Tyne will be given the chance to have their say before the Minister makes his decision.
Feeling threatened by competition from Liverpool, Doug Morrison, director of Southampton Port, said: “Public money was used to build the City of Liverpool Cruise Terminal on the explicit understanding it would not be used for turnaround.”
But even if Liverpool is allowed to go ahead, it’s unlikely the facilities will be much of a rival for Southampton, which is the UK’s busiest cruise port – and will next week cater for six ships in a single day for the second time this year. As cruising grows in popularity – with Southampton planning a new terminal of its own, Portsmouth now operating from its own new building – there must be room for all.
Only 13 ships are scheduled to make calls at Liverpool’s pier this year. The maiden visit by Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth on September 8 is to be marked by a commemorative concert in the Anglican Cathedral.

By | 2011-07-08T18:06:39+00:00 8 July 2011|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

Leave A Comment