Liverpool faces bigger bill for cruise terminal change

Liverpool faces bigger bill for cruise terminal change

“Persuasive arguments” exist for Liverpool to pay back a majority of its £9 million in government grants if the city makes changes to its cruise terminal use, shipping minister Mike Penning announced.

Liverpool city council wants cruises to start and end in the city rather than be restricted to ship calls only.

Public funding for the terminal was conditional on it not competing with other UK ports, including Southampton. The terminal received £9 million from the government and £8.6 million from Europe.

The Pier Head terminal opened to visiting cruise ships in 2007. The Department for Transport has been running a consultation on the impact that a change in use would have on other ports.

Turnaround cruises from Liverpool currently operate from a base in Langton Dock in the north of the city.

Penning, setting out the government's position in a written statement, said: “The Department proposed to lift its objection to the removal of a grant condition that precludes use of the City of Liverpool Cruise Terminal for turnaround - start or end of cruise - operations, in return for the phased repayment of £5.3 million of grants.

“In the light of that consultation, I find that there are persuasive arguments that this level of repayment would be insufficient to reflect the adverse impact on competition with other ports.

“I therefore intend shortly to seek independent advice on a more appropriate figure.”

He added: “I will report further when I have reached a decision on the DfT objection. As Liverpool City Council is aware, turnaround operations would also require State Aid clearance from the European Commission.

“Meanwhile, turnaround cruise operations continue to be permitted at Langton Dock in Liverpool.”


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