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Cunard cruise terminal hope lies dead in water

But 'we will find a solution', says mayor as he defends £10m purchase of waterfront Grace

Written by . Published on October 15th 2014.

Cunard cruise terminal hope lies dead in water

LIVERPOOL Mayor Joe Anderson last night confirmed his dreams of creating a stunning cruise terminal departure lounge in the riverfront Cunard Building have been torpedoed by strict security controls.

But the mayor defended his £10m purchase of the one time headquarters of the world’s best known shipping line.

Instead the one-time sailor and his team will have to go back to the drawing board to find a replacement for the temporary, marquee-like check-in area close to the cruise terminal.
It seems the logistics of moving passengers from A to Sea would not only have cost millions of pounds, it would also compromise what is the epicentre of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site.

Things have changed since the days when first class passengers arrived at what was Cunard’s first class passenger lounge before strolling over to the Princes Landing Stage to board their ocean-going liners. These days you have to go through a massive security check before they’ll even let you set foot in the cruise terminal.
Border controls, now stricter than ever, pose a problem for a check-in facility without a secure link to the gangway of departing liners.
Various suggestions – even a monorail – have been put forward as a way of meeting new maritime security regulations.  It is a wonder they didn’t even throw in the popular Church Street sky-ride as a potential carrier of cruise line travellers.
Maritime consultants Royal Haskoning were commissioned by the city council to carry out a feasibility study to explore the potential of using the ground floor of the Cunard Building as a cruise liner terminal facility.
Their report, due to be released at the end of this month, will reveal a range of options could cost anything between £5m and £60m.

I See No ShipsI See No Ships: Mayor Anderson's hopes of turning the ground floor of the Cunard Builidng into a cruise passenger terminal are dashed owing to unfeasable costs of transporting checked-in travellers across the Pier Head to the gangways

Mayor Anderson said all of the options put forward were based on the requirements of TRANSEC and Border Control and include everything from basic covered walkways to a monorail for transporting passengers. 
The Mayor commented: “We have, in addition to cost, to be mindful of the fact that we do not want to do anything that impacts on the World Heritage site the building is on. In light of these findings it is clear we will not be able to progress with this plan.
“However I want to reassure the city that we will find a solution and we will create a first class cruise liner terminal for our city and we have already begun conversations about other possible waterfront locations.”

Dream Of This Being A Passenger Lounge For Cruises Is DashedInside the Cunard Building in its glory days

Plans to refurbish the building to accommodate 800 town hall staff, mostly located at Millennium House, which developer Lawrence Kenwright plans to turn into a Bill Shankley-themed hotel, will continue as planned.
A number of tenants who occupy office space in the Cunard Building are likely to be joined by new tenants, says the mayor, adding to the £800,000-a year rental income. Earlier this year, Mayor Joe also told Liverpool Confidential how he hoped the Cunard Building, which lies in the middle of the Three Graces, would house a five star restaurant
Resurrecting the old departure lounger as a cruise terminal check-in would have been the icing on the cake.

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30 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousOctober 15th 2014.

£10m without getting the feasibility report. It should be a sacking offence.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 15th 2014.

It does rather sound like gross incompetence, doesn't it?

Paul WardOctober 15th 2014.

Couldn't our esteemed mayor sell the little remaining surrounding land to developers (cheap) and wait for crappy office blocks to obscure a hugely expensive walkway? That would tick all the boxes - cost the locals money, boost property developers' profits, f*** up the rest of the area and be of no use to the majority of our population.

1 Response: Reply To This...
uncle joeOctober 15th 2014.

Would you consider being the Chief Egzeckertive? You've got the kind of brain I need.

David SwiftOctober 15th 2014.

If has any morals he will resign - no need for a petition or another phoney election. He indulges in double talk about World Heritage status when he is the man who said it was "nothing more than a piece of paper on the town hall wall" whilst also agreeing to Peel Holdings plans which got us on UNESCO's In Danger list. You couldn't make it up.

Eric RedOctober 15th 2014.

Has about as much business acumen as Forest Gump! The mayor is a joke, how many other win, win situations do we have to put up with! Behind the smoke and mirrors the public is waking up to what an incompetant bully he is !

1 Response: Reply To This...
Katie54October 15th 2014.

Yes, but he is a joke, but he won't resign while he can rely on the absolute acquiescence of the entire Labour group, who aren't even allowed to ask questions about what and how the council does things without permission. And sneers and makes cheap jibes at the expense of anyone else who asks questions he doesn't like, raises issues he doesn't want raised or queries his judgment in any way. Although we are stuck with him for another 2 years or so, if Labour councillors actually thought about what they were elected to do, and the party they are supposed to be members of, they would stop rolling over and rebel now and again. How many more idiotic and cringe-making scenarios do they need?

mickeydrippinOctober 15th 2014.

Cunard Buildings was always going to be a problem, inasmuch as how would passengers get to the ships after checking in - they would always need a fleet of shuttle buses. Southampton are going to have a "field-day" on hearing this news. They will rightly say that Liverpool spent time and money campaigning for turnaround cruises without correctly planning terminal facilities, resulting in the continuing use of the temporary "marquee"and possible loss of business.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
uncle joeOctober 21st 2014.

A monorail!

mickeydrippinOctober 24th 2014.

A monorail, between Cunard Buildings and the cruise liner berth to be used maybe a couple of dozen time every year, would be a huge waste of money. Hiring buses, when needed, to shuttle passengers between check-in and ship would have been as far cheaper alternative. The best option by far was a purpose built terminal on the site of the present temporary building.

John BradleyOctober 24th 2014.


John BradleyOctober 15th 2014.

The main less to be learnt is that some people, mostly who commented above, don't like anything changing. They are the people who helped bring the city to it knees. I'll bet non of them have ever undertaken any projects or any size or with even the slightest hint of risk. I suspect they have problems going outside to the shops because they might find the shop doesn't have in stock what they want, and the totally failure to get the complete shopping list is more than they can bare. Perhaps they a worried that people will wonder how they can live with themselves when not absolutely everything they do turns out 100% perfect. Why take this risk of going out at all if they stay at home and don't go out then nothing can possibly go wrong. They might starve to death but at least they will not have made anything go not quiet right. Sad bunch of pricks, typical of what drags places down. erm.ncsu.edu/…/risk-appetite-risk-aversion…

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Phillip LawlerOctober 16th 2014.

John, an old Chinese proverb 'People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it' is a sentiment I generally agree with. In this situation it does not apply. Joe did not have decent plans from the outset. As someone who said above, the logistics from the Cunard building to the landing stages are not practical. It would be better suited to build something at Princes dock which is right by the quay. The land between point A and B is a busy tourist hotspot. This should have been thought through before the acquisition of the Cunard building at great expense.

AnonymousOctober 16th 2014.

John its not like these aren't simple obvious questions that could should have been asked. He's not been tripped up by some small print somewhere the flaws were fundamental. Only in public office can you make an error like this and not get sacked. If your so big on risk you'd know that there is risk in everything we do, what decision makers should do is figure out their key risks and find ways to minimise those, and Joe couldn't even be bothered to get the report.

John BradleyOctober 16th 2014.

To be a success the plan didn't need the terminal. If he hadn't done a survey of the building, then that would have been bad, but this is like taking a Each-way and not winning the primary but get the secondary.

Rosemary DomanOctober 16th 2014.

How inconsistent! Mayor Anderson can splash out a cool £10m without doing a proper feasibility study for a project that could end up being a white elephant. Meanwhile, in the Liverpool Local Plan (now available online or check it out at Millenium House) the Council has been told to list every 'spare' bit of green south side of the city so it can be sold off now for development or put on the list for future development. This includes Woolton Woods, Calderstones Park, Sefton Park (Sefton Park Meadows, remember, already flogged off)), the green in front of St Stephens Church and the 'cricket field' in Gateacre among other greenfield sites across this part of the city. So, not content with losing almost all our libraries , we and our children/children's children are to be robbed of our green inheritance to pay the bills irresponsibly run up by this council! This is a disgrace. Mayor Anderson should be made accountable for his actions. What will the development of the new office spaces in the Cunard building cost? What else will be destroyed to pay for ill thought out projects like this? Note: in 2003 the then Council pledged to protect green spaces, using up brownfield sites instead. One counciller is starting a city wide campaign to stop this latest abuse of our green heritage. Watch this space/check the Liverpool Local Plan feedback to join in!

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 16th 2014.

Well said, Rosemary!!

John BradleyOctober 16th 2014.

SO Rosemary do you vote Tory, that's the only reason someone would miss out HMG part in cutting funding or is it that you just so wrapped up in your own world you haven't noticed what is happening in the rest of the country?

AnonymousOctober 16th 2014.

Mr Bradley, would you mind not resorting to personal remarks about people? If your argument is any good you wouldn't have to

John BradleyOctober 16th 2014.

If you had a proper response you wouldn't resort to changing the subject.

AnonymousOctober 17th 2014.

Rosemary is clearly a bit nuts, the very idea that sefton or calderstones parks are about to be sold is bizarre.

AnonymousOctober 16th 2014.

But he did save some green space, playing the big guy for his footie team and forked out another £11million for Evrryon's training ground. Time he forked off.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 16th 2014.

I don't like to type Everton, sorry

AnonymousOctober 18th 2014.

You can always disinfect your keyboard afterwards.

Rosemary DomanOctober 20th 2014.

John Bradford & Anonymous, Sorry, but we ALL know about HMG's cuts. Precisely why Mayor Anderson shouldn't splash much needed & limited cash on badly researched projects. Cutting back on lavish entertaining might help, too, such as an environmental awards dinner a friend recently attended. She was disgusted by the excess, despite the honour of the occasion. Not nuts, Anonymous no 2, but angry. As I said, part of Sefton Park (the Meadows) has already gone under the development hammer, as has part of Calderstones for the rebuilding of St Julie's school. Although only a small area, it's the thin end of the wedge. If you can't/won't believe me check out the Feedback from the Draft Local Unitary Plan, available now online, as I also mentioned earlier. Then you'll be properly informed. Councillor spearheading the opposition to all this is Richard Kemp - and I don't care what his party politics are, this issue to many of us is bigger than party politics!

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleyOctober 20th 2014.

Do you not understand the concept of the mandatory reserve, which the money for the building came from and which as bricks and mortar remains part of the reserve.

Katie54October 20th 2014.

John, your patronising comment isn't actually correct. Reserves are reserves, cash, financial assets (bonds, etc.) that are easy to sell, etc. That is not what this is. It is property, a fixed asset, not part of the reserves, any more than all the land and other stuff the council wants to sell off are. The reserves have decreased as a result of this purchase. The concept of a mandatory reserve is irrelevant, because there is no such thing in LA finance. There is an agreed minimum, which I think is what you mean. Many councils hold levels of reserves that are higher than they need, and it makes sense to use them for invest-to-save type initiatives, which this Cunard thing ostensibly is. The agreed minimum (your "mandatory") reserves are there to support service delivery in case of unforeseen changes to funding etc., and their calculation is based on a risk assessment. I cannot imagine that LCC would use any of this minimum reserve for any investment plan however foolproof, wonderful etc. Why don't you do a bit of proper research (i.e. CIPFA, the Audit Commission) before ignorantly rubbishing perfectly reasonable comments?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyOctober 20th 2014.

Than you for you correction.

AnonymousOctober 21st 2014.


RobertOctober 21st 2014.

Shame Joe's ego of grandeur got in the way of common sense. Or is it his bullying and getting in the face of people who dare ask him pressing questions? Having attended numerous Labour Party events over the years, I can say with all certainty he is not sufficiently intelligent to run this City, no matter how he feels about the place. Why didn't the Council undertake pre-appraisal reports ahead of purchase? If they had, and really needed to move, why not tighten the struggling public purse and move into the empty floors or loss-leased space in the other public sector grandeur delusionists HQ of Muppetravel? You couldn't make such simplicity up, yet Private Eye has interesting info on the sale of Millennium House.

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