Liverpool City Council is considering buying the cruise liner terminal and extending it so that it can handle larger ships and increase visitors to the city.
A report was delivered to the council’s cabinet on January 9th, which recommends that the authority acquire the site whilst looking for a permanent building.
The council bought the Cunard building for £10m in March last year from the Merseyside Pension fund and had hoped to use this as part of plans to operate the terminal. However it has since been suggested that it could cost the council up to £60m to refurbish the building to make it fit for purpose. The exact cost would depend on the method used in transporting passengers to and from ships.
The terminal opened in 2012 and the council said it expects that this year it will handle around 54 ships, bringing in the region of 80,000 passengers to the city. This number is up 40% on 2014, there are plans to expand the structure, which is rented from Smart Space, so that the terminal can deal with boats carrying up to 1,800 people; an increase of 350.
Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration, said:
“We knew the turnaround facility would be a huge success and the increase in demand we have seen since it opened means that we are now pretty much at capacity.
“It makes economic sense for us to purchase the building as, even with the improvements we are carrying out, the cost is less than half the amount of continuing to rent it.
“This will put us in a position to continue the success of the cruise liner terminal while we look at options for a more permanent facility in the longer term.”