THE growing demand for cruises from Liverpool means the port must have a bigger and better liner terminal.
The benefits more than justify funding an upgraded Liverpool Cruise Terminal, said Judith Feather, city council events and cultural infrastructure manager – although there are no firm plans in the pipeline for expansion at present.
While Liverpool council is leading on the cruise terminal, it will need to work closely with Peel Ports Mersey and land-owner Peel Holdings on a multi-million pound upgrade, said Ms Feather.
“The economic environment is tough but if the public and private sectors can work together this will be possible,” she said.
“Ships are getting bigger and we need to look closely at our facilities and have an action plan.
“In spite of the cost, the revenues we can earn are not inconsiderable.”
Cllr Wendy Simon, Liverpool council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, agreed: “We do need to look at upgrading the terminal and future development.
“As with any successful new business venture it’s important to see it develop and offer what visitors want over time. Our ultimate aim is a world-class facility.
“We have a great reputation as a city port worldwide. Feedback from cruise passengers is excellent and they tell us how great it is to come into the city centre by sea.”
Accessibility was a prime factor, she said, adding that passengers on turnaround (i.e. starting and ending) cruises love the excitement of departing from the city centre.
“The big question to ask is ‘how can the city benefit from this increase in tourism’?” she said.
“We already work closely with Peel, but there’s no concrete plans as yet for a permanent terminal building.”
A strategy report on the terminal’s three-to-five year future compiled last October by its six-member steering group (including Peel Ports Mersey managing director Gary Hodgson) for the council has yet to be made public.
Mr Hodgson told the Post: “This is a tremendously exciting time for Liverpool’s maritime sector.
"As statutory harbour authority we fully support the aspirations of the team at Liverpool City Council to develop the cruise offer for this city.”