Why Liverpool City Council are pulling out of running cruise terminal

Liverpool is in the unique position of being the only city with a council-owned and operated terminal.

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After 16 years of operating Liverpool's cruise terminal the City Council has opted to surrender its lease and hand over the running of the Princes Parade site to the private sector.

The move was first mooted in December last year, and now fresh documents released by the local authority have revealed how it intends to give the contract back to statutory port authority The Mersey Docks and Harbour Company.

A report to the culture select committee next week will set out how, due to "best value reasons" the city intends to step away from its current arrangement.

"Nothing is going to change with what we’re proposing other than potentially the logo above the door," Cllr Harry Doyle, cabinet member for health, wellbeing and culture told LiverpoolWorld. "People will still see the vessels and we’ve actually got bookings until 2026.”

The report states that when the council built the cruise liner berth originally, it had been intended a third party would undertake the operation and take on the financial liability, but this did not materialise, leaving Liverpool in the unique position of being the only city with a council-owned and operated terminal.

Cllr Doyle said: “Seeing these huge colossal vessels on the Mersey is unbelievable, but what I think is important for us is the economic impact that it’s driven. Back in 2007 when we had those three vessels we’re talking less than half a million pounds of economic impact. We’ve built that up and developed over £100 million of economic impact over the 17 years."

Relinquishing the lease frees Liverpool City Council from running costs, with the terminal reportedly operating on a net shortfall of several hundred thousand a year. It also means the local authority no longer has responsibility for infrastructure costs, such as the new facility at Princes Jetty that has doubled in cost or replacement of pontoons, which could run into millions.

The report will be considered by the committee next week at Liverpool Town Hall.

Watch the video above for our full feature on the council's decision to pull out of the cruise terminal.