Liverpool cruise liner terminal site identified

the Steam Packet catamaran passes the Caribbean Princess, and the derelict Princes Jetty Image copyright El Pollock/Geograph
Image caption The derelict site on Princes Parade has been identified as the preferred location for a new terminal

Liverpool has identified the preferred site of a proposed permanent cruise terminal that could see transatlantic crossings return to the city.

The council said a decision would be made on the Princes Jetty location on Princes Parade after a feasibility study later this year.

Plans for a terminal in the Cunard Building were scrapped in 2014, because of an estimated cost of up to £15m.

Cunard last operated regular transatlantic crossings in 1968.

An existing terminal at Princes Parade is estimated to have generated £7m for the Liverpool economy last year, the council said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cunard said it would explore whether Liverpool could be incorporated into Queen Mary 2's transatlantic crossings

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: "The temporary cruise liner building has been a tremendous success and served us well, but a city of Liverpool's standing and ambition needs a permanent building if we are to continue the growth we've seen in recent years."

He added the cost of any development at Princes Jetty would be offset by the passengers' economic impact.

But he stressed there was "lots of work to do before we can give any scheme the green light".

A council spokesman said there had been "a doubling in the number of vessels visiting Liverpool" - from 31 to 61 - since they were able to turn around in the city's waters in 2012.

"Passenger numbers are up from 38,656 four years ago to an expected 86,365 this year."

Image copyright TheTurfBurner/Geograph
Image caption The former Princes Jetty currently lies in a poor state

The council has commissioned a study "into the design and cost of constructing a terminal capable of handling 3,600 embarking and disembarking passengers with baggage - twice as many as the existing facility", he added.

Cunard director Angus Struthers said it would examine if it could "incorporate Liverpool into Queen Mary 2's iconic transatlantic crossings" if the terminal plans are approved.

Liverpool hosted the headquarters of Cunard from its launch in 1840 until the 1960s, when it moved to Southampton.

A final decision is expected to be taken later this year.

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