PLANS for a cruise liner terminal in Hull which could add £13 million to the local economy are set to take a major step forward next week.
Senior councillors are expected to agree to the creation of public-private partnership to oversee the development of the terminal which could be built at Sammy’s Point close to The Deep aquarium or the Albert Dock.
The cost of the terminal, previously estimated at £17 million, has now risen to a more likely £25 million and the report suggests that the council’s contribution should be capped at just over £9 million.
A report to be presented to senior councillors next week says that building a “world class city centre riverside berth will create a long term legacy for the City of Hull and will contribute to the wider regeneration and renewal of the city centre”.
But it also warns councillors that “delivering a viable cruise terminal is likely to prove to be a significant challenge, and is far from certain of success” without securing additional funding.
Writing in the report, Coun Steven Bayes, who holds the council visitor destination portfolio, says: “With City of Culture 2017 and Siemens investing in the city, Hull is increasingly the focus of national and international attention.
“The economic benefits to the North of England are significant and we need to make the most of this project, seeking funding from as wide a range of sources external to the council as possible.
“Our city is here because of the port and with a cruise terminal we will benefit from the new visitors.
“We can capture a slice of the cruise market and passengers, for which the city is ideally placed, and can ensure a legacy beyond 2017 that has tangible benefits to the city, the people of Hull and the wider economy of the North of England.”
Setting up a public-private partnership is seen by the council as a way of securing the additional money needed for the venture and the expertise needed to operate the facility once it is built.
Other options would include leaving it to the private sector to come forward with the proposals but the report warns that the project is unlikely to get off the ground without some public sector financial contribution.
Councillors will be told that the cruise terminal could either be a “port of call” where passengers disembark for trips around Yorkshire or a more costly “home port” where cruise trips start and end.
“Research has indicated that there is demand from the market that could be satisfied by providing a “Yorkshire Port” for the cruise market,” the council report says.
In the last seven years there has been a 79 per cent rise in the number of people taking cruises in northern Europe.
Hull City Council’s cabinet will consider the next stages of the cruise terminal project at a meeting on Monday.