It’s been years in the making, and still the Hull city council has yet to reach a decision over whether or not plans for a new £31 million cruise terminal will go ahead. Now, ITY councillors have confirmed that the outlook is positive, maintaining that the development of the hub is “not beyond reach.”
To date, the council has put aside £800,000 to spend on feasibility proposals, and will now debate whether or not to allocate a further £9.2 million towards fast-tracking the project over the next three years. The location has yet to be decided, with expert consultants looking at both the Deep, and the Riverside Quay near Albert Dock.
Council pushes for government coin
Deputy council leader Councillor Daren Hale asserts that government funding is the key to kick-starting the project, and ensuring that it goes ahead. “There is money (in the budget) for preparatory work, but we are clear that we will need external investment,” he said. “I see it as a devolution must. If the Government wants to keep alive the idea of a Northern Powerhouse, they need to come up with something on the eastern side of the North to counter all the investment going into Manchester. We have always said the cruise terminal will only happen as a regional infrastructure project as part of a devolution deal.”
Hull cruise terminal hailed as the key to creating ‘Northern Powerhouse’
More than just a hub for Hull, the new cruise terminal will also service Yorkshire, and the wider north. For this reason, advocates are stressing that the cash should come from both Hull, and its neighbours.
Councillor Steven Bayes is confident that the terminal would be a game-changer for the city. He said, “This development has the greatest capacity to alter the economy of Hull and to alter people’s perceptions of the city.”
For the local economy, the development will represent a categorical cash injection and will bring disposable income to the heart of Hull. “Typically on cruise ships, a third of passengers stay on board, a third go on organised excursions and a third leave the ship and visit the port they are in,” added Bayes. There will be a particular focus on promoting football, however restaurants, cafes, boutiques and other local businesses will also benefit.
Cruise giants get on board
Big name cruise lines have already pledged their support for the project. “We have had discussions with several cruise operators and they are immensely keen to have a facility in Hull, ” added Bayes. “They are very keen to open up the eastern side of England because, through the links to Europe – it works very well for them.”
Images via Flickr Creative Commons. Photo credits: Andi Campbell-Jones, Jennifer Welch