I’ve done a number of posts in the last few years about Liverpool’s cruise terminal. The earliest of these were about the dispute over financing when Liverpool City Council (who own and operate the terminal) announced their intention to start using it for turn-rounds as well as for day calls – the dispute was because national and EU funding had been obtained for the existing structure on the basis that it would be used for day calls only. Then I visited the terminal in 2015 and had its operation, capabilities and limitations explained, and also received news that Liverpool was seeking to build a new terminal capable of handling turn-rounds for much bigger ships – up to 3,600 passengers. Since then Liverpool City Council has been taking this project forward.
The present position, as I understand it, is that a suitable site has been identified – the old Princes Jetty, along the waterfront a short distance north of the current terminal and pontoon. I gather that the plan is for piles to be driven into the river Mersey at that spot and the terminal to be supported on them; then a new linkspan will connect the new terminal to the existing docking pontoon. Before any eventual construction there would need to be various acquisitions and lease extensions, and among the land owners involved is the Duchy of Lancaster which apparently owns the bed of the Mersey!
In and of itself the proposed next step isn’t especially exciting – it’s to seek city council approval to appoint consultants to prepare detailed designs and project plans for the terminal, and to take other preparatory work forward e.g. the costs of the acquisitions and leases mentioned above. But if agreed – and the council will take a decision on 21 April – then it’s a further step forward.
Also emerging at the current time are skeleton proposals to include a new hotel and a multi-story car park in the plan. The hotel, which would be around 240 beds, would hopefully be able to rely on overnight cruise passenger business as a foundation. Car parking facilities would be required anyway to store cruise passengers’ cars while on their cruises, and this would need to be reasonably close to the terminal, but I gather that the latest ideas see the car park as being larger than the required size for just cruise passengers. Although these additions may impact on the timescales to approve and develop the terminal, it’s good to see that ‘joined-up’ thinking is happening – obviously, a new terminal capable of handling turn-rounds for 3,600 passengers will inevitably require accommodation and car parking infrastructure.
I’m pleased to see this project progressing. I believe that if it’s brought to a successful completion it will be the largest cruise terminal in the UK outside Southampton – I’m not aware that any of the other embarkation ports, e.g. Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle have anything of this size. Even the London terminals (at Tilbury and Greenwich) are smaller than this. I hope they’re able to bring it to fruition.
Here’s a link to a newspaper story about this.