Council chiefs are expected to approve the next £1 million step in building the new permanent cruise liner terminal of Liverpool.
The proposal, set to be put next week before city council’s cabinet, would see a 2-storey building built on reclaimed land on River Mersey.
Councillors are being asked to approve the next stage – which will cost almost £1 million – to develop detailed plans to build the terminal at Princes Jetty, Princes Parade.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said he is “determined that we are able to continue the huge growth in cruise liners that we have seen over the last few years”.
The new facility would include a new passenger and baggage terminal, passport control, lounge, café, toilets, taxi rank, vehicle pick up point and a car park.
The council also intends that the terminal will be able to be able to handle cruise liners with up to 3,600 passengers, and provide “turnaround” overnight facilities – in which cruises begin and end at Liverpool, as opposed to “transit” visits which only stop in the city for a short period.
It follows a doubling in the number of vessels visiting Liverpool since it became a turnaround facility in 2012 – up from 31 to 61.
Mayor Anderson said:
“We know there is a lot of interest from cruise companies in coming to Liverpool but what is holding us back at the moment is the limited space we have in the existing facility.
“To deliver on our ambitions, we need to invest in a new terminal building which will bring bigger liners carrying more passengers, meaning a bigger boost for the local economy.
“We have various options of funding the scheme which we will be exploring, but the return on investment speaks for itself in terms of the jobs that are supported and created by passengers and crew spending money while they are in the city.”
There had been fears the project could be scuppered last month after UNESCO called for suspension of developments in the city centre.
But Mayor Anderson said the terminal is a key development for the city and progress would be threatened if the city complied with the UNESCO request.
Passenger numbers are up from 38,656 four years ago to almost 78,000 this year plus 34,000 crew which the council says generates an estimated £6.5 million for the local economy through spending while they are on shore.
It had once been hoped that the Cunard Building – one of the city’s Three Graces – could become the site of the terminal , and it was bought by the city council where many local authority staff are now based.
However, converting the building and the demands of installing border controls would simply cost too much and the council is now pinning its hopes on the Princes Jetty site.
Liverpool city council has been working closely with Peel, which owns the current preferred location, Princes Jetty and Princes Parade, on the project.
Ian Pollitt, assistant project director at Liverpool Waters, said:
“The growth of the cruise liner industry in Liverpool has been nothing short of phenomenal and Peel has long been a supporter of the city’s ambitions. We gifted the site of the current facility in 2011 and we are delighted that it has proved to be such a success in a very short space of time and we are happy to continue to work with the Mayor and his team on these exciting plans.”
The council is due to meet to consider the proposals on Friday, August 19.