It was hoped work on the new £50m-plus Liverpool cruise terminal would be completed in 2022 but the COVID-19 crisis and Brexit means it has been pushed back to 2023. Tony McDonough reports
Delivery of Liverpool’s new cruise terminal will be delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 crisis and Brexit, a new report reveals.
The report, written Liverpool City Council’s head of assets, Angie Redhead, for the Culture, Tourism & Events Select Committee, says work cannot go ahead until the authority has secured a Harbour Revision Order.
A HRO comes from the International Marine Organisation via the Government and it needs to be sanctioned by Parliament. However, Government resources have been redirected into the fight against COVID-19 and into the handling of Brexit on December 31, meaning the HRO is unlikely to be considered until spring 2021.
Although the city council had not set a definite start and completion date for the project, worth more than £50m, it was originally hoped it would be operational in time for the 2022 cruise season. This will likely now push the project back to 2023.
In the report, Ms Redhead says: “The construction planning for the new Liverpool Cruise Terminal continues. We await the Harbour Revision Order from the International Marine Organisation. Once we have this, works will commence on site. Completion date is anticipated for 2023 if all time-lines on the critical path are not compromised due to COVID.”
The new terminal building is 100,000 sq ft in size and will be constructed on two floors; the ground floor being the baggage hall and entrance lobby, and the first floor will include the passenger lounge, check-in area and cafe.
It will be connected by a pedestrian and vehicular link-span bridge to the existing cruise ship landing stage. The plans also include a 200-bed hotel at Princes Dock Liverpool Waters, close to the terminal building.
Once completed, the terminal will replace the existing facility off Princes Dock and will enable the world’s largest cruise ships (up to 3,600 passengers) to embark and disembark at Liverpool and is expected to directly create more than 500 new jobs.
Work will includes dismantling the redundant and derelict jetty and construction of the new terminal on a new jetty in the River Mersey. Construction of a new Isle of Man ferry terminal at the far end of the main terminal has already started.
The report also reveals that it is expected the council will see a loss on the terminal this year of £1.1m due to the COVID-19 crisis which has seen the global cruise industry grind to a halt. The city usually generates around £2.5m in income from the terminal.
It is looking to mitigate the loss of revenue by looking to increase the number of other commercial vessels that use the current facility. In recent weeks the polar exploration vessel, RRS Sir David Attenborough has been berthed at the terminal ahead of undergoing sea trials.