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A study is to be carried out into the feasibility of building a cruise terminal in Plymouth.
The aim is to have an operational cruise ship berth operational in time for the Mayflower 400 commemorations in 2020 if the economic case proves compelling.
A consortium comprising Plymouth City Council, Associated British Ports, the Plymouth and Devon Chamber of Commerce, Destination Plymouth and Plymouth Waterfront Partnership have commissioned marine consultants GP Wild International to compile a report over the summer.
The study’s scope will include discussions with organisations such as the Ministry of Defence, Queen’s Harbourmaster and the Environment Agency to get an overview of what would need to be achieved to overcome current constraints.
Ferry companies currently use Plymouth for sailings to France and Spain.
Port manager David Atkin, of Associated British Ports, which owns Millbay Docks in the Devon city, said: “We all share the same aspirations but need to get a clear picture of future market trends for the cruise industry and how Millbay could play a part in this.
“This also needs to include clear costings and projections in respect of any berth development.”
Plymouth City Council leader, Tudor Evans, said: “This is a critical report. If we are going to do this, we need to go into this with eyes wide open.
“Having a possible location is just one aspect of a complex jigsaw. We need to look at a whole range of issues to get a clear picture of the market and its future directions, the infrastructure needed, the sort of costs we are looking at and some of the unique challenges we face.”
Amanda Lumley, chief executive of Destination Plymouth, added: “The cruise market has been identified as a key opportunity for Plymouth in the run-up to the Mayflower 400 commemorations – both in terms of a point of entry for visitors as well as developing commemoration cruises from the USA to the UK.
“The study is a vital piece of work to enable all the partners to understand the value and importance of this untapped market for Plymouth which will leave a legacy beyond 2020.”
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