Isle of Man terminal cost hits £70m

Politicians will be asked for an extra £32.6m to complete the Isle of Man ferry terminal on Liverpool waterfront as the cost spirals to £70.6m – more than double the original estimate. Tony McDonough reports

Isle of Man
Image of the new Isle of Man ferry terminal. Picture courtesy of Isle of Man government


Politicians in the Isle of Man will have to stump up an extra £32.6m after the costs of the new Liverpool Manx ferry terminal rocketed to £70.6m – more than double the original cost.

Planning permission for the terminal, which is being built off Princes Half Tide Dock, was secured in April 2019 and at that point the estimated cost of the scheme was £31.3m. It was due to be operational by March 2021.

However, the cost of the project then rose to £38m by the time the Isle of Man parliament, the Tynwald, approved the funding in July 2019. Now, due to the impact of COVID-19 and additional work on the quay wall, the terminal will now cost £70.6m and won’t be operational until mid-2023.

It is one of two major infrastructure schemes under way at Peel L&P’s multi-billion pound Liverpool Waters development. Work has also started on a £500m project to build a new stadium for Everton FC at nearby Bramley-Moore Dock.

Politicians at the Tynwald will be asked to approve the extra £32.6m when it sits later this month. The BBC quoted Infrastructure Minister Tim Crookall saying the new price tag included a solution to create “scour protection” to shield the quay wall from any future damage.

He called the rise in costs “deeply concerning” and admitted there were “lessons to be learnt from it”. He added the matter had already been referred for review, and said: “However, we must make a decision on the future of this project and this should be our immediate focus.”

Isle of Man
The Isle of Man ferry terminal will accommodate up to 1,000 passengers. Picture courtesy of Isle of Man government


Crossings between the Isle of Man and Liverpool, which run in the spring, summer and to the end of October, are currently undertaken by the Manannan fast craft which arrives and departs at a terminal between the Pier Head and the current cruise liner terminal.

The new terminal will be equipped to accommodate Isle of Man Steam Packet vessels, including Manxman, which is currently under construction and is due to start service in 2023. It will have a maximum capacity of 1,000 passengers and 200 checked-in vehicles and winter weekend freight.

Sailings are popular with holidaymakers heading to the Isle of Man in the summer months and get particularly busy with bikers heading to the island for the annual TT motorcycle races.

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