Liverpool takes next step to become the ultimate waterfront destination

Liverpool has long since been famed for its waterfront, specifically the famous River Mersey linking into the Irish Sea. Much of the dynamic city centre has wonderful river views, not least the iconic Albert Dock—the largest selection of Listed buildings in the UK outside of London, perfectly framed by the River Mersey.

Liverpool takes next step to become the ultimate waterfront destination

Now Liverpool is poised to take the next step and become one of the UK’s most prominent cities thanks to the construction of a huge £50m cruise terminal which has piqued the interest of residents and press alike. Once completed, the new terminal (which is expected to be built on the site of the former Princes Jetty off Princes Parade in the heart of the city centre) will allow Liverpool to become one of the UK’s largest port cities, with the ability to host some of the largest cruise ships in the world which have the capacity to carry up to 3,600 passengers.

Smaller facilities than the planned terminals that already exist in Liverpool—like the current facility at the Pier Head, which opened in September 2007—already generate more than £7m per year for the city’s economy, so the potential for the new facility in terms of economic value is significant.

The land alongside this new cruise terminal also has unfulfilled potential, with planners already earmarking the site for a 1,100-space multi-storey car park and a 200-bed hotel according to Construction News, which would be the perfect addition for a city whose tourist industry is likely to see a huge increase because of this new terminal. In 2016 alone, Insider Media reports that Liverpool welcomed more than 60 ships with over 120,000 passengers and crew, but the new passenger, baggage and vessel terminal has already had plans to encompass a brand new passport control facility, lounges, cafés, toilets, taxi ranks and a vehicle pick-up point.

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, is understandably a firm advocate of these new plans, publicly praising the scheme and its uncapped potential for improving the city’s waterways: “Liverpool’s cruise industry has transformed our tourism appeal and given the Mersey a new lease of life. It has been one of the city’s great success stories of the past decade but we need to relocate if we are to welcome the next generation of superliners and give passengers a full five-star experience. A new cruise facility would also be a huge boost to our plans to transform the north Liverpool docklands, and the support we’ve already received from the industry to the idea is hugely encouraging.”

Despite enthusiastic support from public supporters like the city’s mayor, the project in construction terms is still firmly in its infancy. Plans to create a £15m terminal to facilitate large cruise liners have already been proposed once before by developers as early as 2014, but were quickly knocked back in the very early stages. That said, it seems as if these new plans are definitely on an upwards trajectory, with the Liverpool Council cabinet coming together for an initial consultation to approve the plans and, once the appointment of a technical team has been confirmed, the council are then set to submit a proposal to receive a £20m contribution from the Liverpool Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund. If the campaign all goes to plan up to this point it is likely that all these stages could be completed in little over a month’s time (Monday 9th May 2017), upon which time the only stage remaining between the plans and their construction is a final outline planning application, which would be submitted to the council later in the year.

It seems that the new cruise liner terminal will be a pivotal addition for a city growing in infrastructure, population and tourism. The new terminal will open Liverpool up as an easily accessible city to visit, alongside its incomparable transport links by air (thanks to two international airports within a 45-minute drive), by train (with two major train stations in the city centre), and by car (close to major motorway networks with easy access to other key UK cities).

Whether the cruise terminal at Princes Parade will go ahead all the way to fruition remains to be seen, but one thing that cannot be disputed is that the terminal is likely to enhance and future-proof the already growing fortunes of the dynamic city of Liverpool and its iconic waterways.

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