Liverpool council in plan to buy cruise liner terminal

LIVERPOOL City Council is considering buying the cruise liner terminal and extending it to deal with bigger ships.

A report to the council’s cabinet on January 9 is recommending the authority acquires the site while it looks for a permanent building.

It had hoped to use the Cunard Building which it bought from the Merseyside Pension Fund for around £10m in March, but a feasibility study identified border control requirements which could add between £5m and £60m to the refurb costs, depending on the method used to transport passengers to and from ships.

The council said the terminal, which opened in 2012, is expected to handle 54 ships this year bringing 80,000 passengers – up 40% on 2014. But it wants to expand the facility, which is rented from a company called Smart Space, to handle boats carrying up to 1,800 passengers, an extra 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.”