New facility would be equipped to handle a new generation of turnaround cruises carrying up to 3,600 passengers and would include a new passenger and baggage terminal. Tony McDonough reports
A team of experts will be tasked with designing Liverpool’s new £50m cruise liner terminal.
The current facility off Princes Dock, just north of the Pier Head, last year welcomed more than 60 vessels and 120,000 passengers and crew.
Liverpool City Council wants to take full advantage of the booming cruise market by building a permanent terminal able to handle a new generation of turnaround cruises carrying up to 3,600 passengers.
It also wants to create a new passenger and baggage terminal complete with passport control, lounge, café, toilets, taxi rank and vehicle pick up point.
There are also plans for a 200-room hotel and 1,100-plus multi-storey car park.
The council’s cabinet is being asked to endorse the selection of a highly skilled technical team to scope out and develop a new permanent facility at the former Princes Jetty.
It undertook a European wide search earlier in the year to explore how a new and bigger terminal could replace the current facility which opened in September 2007 and now generates more than £7m a year to the city’s economy.
To enable the works the council is also in negotiations with the Duchy of Lancaster and Peel Land and Property to obtain new leases and purchase land.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool’s cruise industry has transformed our tourism appeal and given the Mersey a new lease of life.
‘’It has been one of the city’s great success stories of the past decade but we need to relocate if we are to welcome the next generation of super liners and give passengers a full five-star experience.
“Appointing a technical team is a vital step in exploring how we achieve that move and if we can, we do it to the highest standards.
“A new cruise facility would also be a huge boost to our plans to transform the North Liverpool docklands and the support we’ve already received from the industry to the idea is hugely encouraging.’’
Following approval to appoint the technical team, the council will then submit an outline business case for a £20m contribution from the Liverpool Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) by Monday, May 29.
If that stage is successfully passed, the project will then progress to the final stage, a full business case.
The council recently approved a new £20m waterfront link road by extending Leeds Street and this is expected to begin construction by 2019.
Liverpool was named the UK’s best port of call three times in 2013, 2014 and 2016 and scooped Destination of the Year by Seatrade Global in September 2015.
In 2016, Disney Cruise Line came to Britain for the first time and Liverpool was one of just two English destinations they sailed in to.