Cruise liner on the River Mersey with the Liver Buildings in the background

Cruise cash paid back

Liverpool City Council has paid back the £8.8 million requested by the Government so that cruises can start and end at the Pier Head.

The city council agreed in May to abide by an independent ruling over how much of the £9.2 million Government grant received for the construction of the facility should be returned.

In September, Whitehall officials gave details of the payment mechanism, and a lump sum payment was made.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “We agreed to abide by the ruling of the independent arbiter and pay the money back, and that is exactly what we have done.

“As soon as the Government gave us details of how they would like the payment to be made, we arranged for it to be settled promptly.

“The cruise liner terminal is proving to be a huge success and we have had extremely positive feedback from operators and passengers.

“It provides a big boost to our tourism industry – creating and sustaining many jobs.

“Liverpool has an unrivalled maritime history and we are now on the way to restoring our reputation as a leading cruise destination.

“For far too long, holiday makers in the north have had to travel to and from other places to start their journeys, and this is helping to return Liverpool to its rightful place as a major cruise port.”

A temporary customs and baggage building, parking and drop off facilities is operating opposite the current facility on Princes Parade. It is being leased during the cruise season from 2012-2015. Plans for a permanent facility including a hotel will be drawn up in the longer term.

The city council forecasts the turnaround facility will have around a five percent share of an expanding UK cruise market – comparable with the percentage of the market enjoyed by the Peel owned Langton Dock facility at its peak. Southampton currently has a market share of over 65 percent.

The Cruise Liner terminal is hosting around 30 vessels this year – a mixture of turnaround, day call and other ships, attracting tens of thousands of passengers and generating millions of pounds for the local economy.