Liverpool seeks controversial expansion of cruise role

Liverpool seeks controversial expansion of cruise role

The city of Liverpool has sought to expand its role in the European cruise holiday market, irking many of its competitors in the process.

At present the property only offers ‘port-of-call’ services, but is seeking to introduce a ‘turnaround’ service – where ships start and finish voyages in the city.

Liverpool has already seen one application to introduce such services at its publicly-funded cruise terminal denied, by the then Labour government in 2009, but has now launched a fresh application.

Liverpool attracted up to £20 million in subsidies during the creation of its new waterfront development, with the government imposing limits on operations to safeguard fair competition with other ports in the UK which had not benefited from public subsidy.

Southampton – the centre of the UK cruise industry and largest leisure port in northern Europe – is one port set to be hit, with fears rising the government will give the go-ahead.

If allowed, Liverpool would be granted a ‘change of use’, enabling it to tap into the lucrative turnaround.

Car parking, hotels, baggage and passenger handling as well as food and fuel supply could inject as much as £2 million per ship into the local economy if permitted.