Boost for Clyde economy
£19m funding deal ‘game changer’ for cruise business
Ship-shape: ‘investment is crucial’
A £19 million package of support for Greenock’s proposed ocean liner terminal has been described as a “game changer” for the town’s cruise business.
Funds from the state-backed City Deal together and Peel Ports will be spent on the new cruise berthing and visitor centre at Greenock Ocean Terminal.
The Glasgow City Region City Deal Cabinet approved a contribution of £9.693m from its overall £1 billion pot, which is funded equally by the Scottish and UK governments.
The balance of the marine and dockside works will be paid for by terminal operator Peel Ports (£8m) and the George Wyllie Foundation via arts funder the Dunard Trust (£1.5m).
The news comes as early stages of site work begins on the overall project, which is led by Peel Ports and Inverclyde Council.
The development, which is scheduled for completion in summer 2020, will boost the number of cruise ship passengers welcomed to Scotland through the Greenock facility. It will see up to 150,000 passengers a year passing through the terminal, delivering £26m in annual visitor and crew spend to the Scottish economy. One said: “It’s a game-changer for Greenock’s cruise business.”
In addition to the cruise berthing and the visitor centre designed by Richard Murphy Architects, the plans include a purpose-built gallery celebrating the work of legendary Inverclyde artist George Wyllie and a restaurant with panoramic views across the Clyde.
Peel Ports port director Andrew Hemphill said: “The confirmation of City Deal funding comes as the terminal celebrates its 50th birthday. This overall investment is crucial to the remarkable growth of cruise traffic to Greenock, allowing us to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for passengers.
“Year on year, we are building a major cruise business on the Clyde and, thanks to the success of Greenock Ocean Terminal, more people than ever are taking a cruise to Scotland.
“Who 50 years ago would have anticipated the level of success we’ve had in bringing the world’s biggest container and cruise ships to Greenock? Now we are about to expand our capability further to attract thousands more visitors every year with the new development, up to 150,000 cruise passengers annually. It’s fantastic news for Inverclyde and for Scotland.”
Greenock was named the top UK cruise destination, and placed in Western Europe’s top five, in the second Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards by Cruise Critic, a leading cruise review site. It has also been named as the most welcoming cruise terminal.