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Liverpool cruise terminal broke no EU rules

Rival port Southampton not best pleased

Written by . Published on March 12th 2014.


Liverpool cruise terminal broke no EU rules
 

THE European Commission has ruled in favour of Liverpool in its long running sea-saga with rival port Southampton over the Pier Head Cruise Terminal.

Liverpool sailed into stormy waters when Southampton complained the conversion of the city’s cruise facility into a terminal broke EU funding rules.

Southampton wanted Liverpool to pay back all of the money it received from Brussels.

Last night, a statement released in Brussels revealed the European Commission has ruled that public funding worth £17.8m granted for the construction of the Liverpool cruise terminal is in line with EU state aid rules. It added the new infrastructure on the Mersey furthers EU transport policy objectives without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.

It means there will be no claw back of the Euro money.

A Cruise Liner Floats By Fort Perch Rock %28Pix Angie Sammons%29A Cruise Liner Floats By Fort Perch Rock (Pix Angie Sammons)

But Southampton City Council Tory opposition leader Cllr Royston Smith, told the Southern Daily Echo: “It is absolutely shocking that the EU thinks it is acceptable for public money to be used in this way.

“This is the worst possible outcome we could expect and really wrong.

“This tells us everything that we need to know about the need to renegotiate our position with the EU or leave it all together.”

Mayor Anderson's opinion obviously differed. He welcomed the ruling, saying: "We were confident of our position and are disappointed that the biggest UK cruise liner port felt it necessary to ask the European Commission to investigate, especially as the Port of Southampton has benefitted from public investment in infrastructure which has enabled it to grow to its current position."

The victory flag was hoisted above the Mersey as the first cruise ship of the season docked at the cruise terminal.

Complaint

The season begins with the arrival of the 700 passenger Discovery, with 700 passengers aboard. It will be the first of more than 40 cruise liners scheduled to use the cruise terminal this year.

An investigation was launched following a complaint by Southampton into the riverfront terminal which was originally built as a ‘port of call facility’. That meant cruise liners could call at Liverpool but not start or end cruises from the Pier Head.

After Joe Anderson paved the way for cruises to start at Liverpool the commission started to examine the financing of a new cruise terminal in Liverpool. The project received funding from the UK (£9.2 million) and from EU Structural Funds (£8.6 million).

The UK carried out an in-depth financial analysis showing that the terminal operator's income from the use of the infrastructure would be insufficient to cover the investment costs over a period of 20 years.

Therefore, the project would not be carried out without public funding. 

In their decision the EU said: “The investment will allow for a better exploitation of sea transport services, particularly in the cruise industry.

The Commission found that the public funding was limited to the minimum necessary to make the investment possible.

The Commission also found that the potential distortions of competition triggered by the public funding will be limited because the terminal will have a small market share, both in the EU and UK markets. The positive effects of the project will outweigh any potential distortions of competition brought about by the aid.”

Liverpool City Council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Cllr Wendy Simon, said: “The cruise liner industry is growing year on year and the cruise liner terminal continues to attract new ships.  This is fantastic for Liverpool’s growth and economy and simply highlights the success of the city as a popular tourist destination.

“It is always great to see these big ships on the Mersey and I hope we can encourage lots of families and young and old to go along to the waterfront and take a look at one of the many ships we will be seeing in 2014.”

Cruise Terminal manager, Angie Redhead, said: “I am delighted to be welcoming so many cruise ships to the city this year.

“Liverpool is going from strength to strength as a passenger destination and I hope we continue to see new visitors to our shores in the future.”  

All aboard, all aboard...

 

(Click here to add text)Boudicca at the Liverpool terminal


The timetable of cruise liners into Liverpool thus far this year:   

 

Discovery (Cruise & Maritime Voyages) - 11th March 2014 Arriving 08:00 - Departing 17:00 

Thomson Spirit (Thomson) - 07th May 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC 

Voyager (Voyages of Discovery) - 11th May 2014 Arriving 08:00 - Departing 17:00 

Thomson Spirit (Thomson) - 14th May 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC 

Celebrity Infinity (Celebrity) - 17th May 2014 Arriving 12:30 - Departing 23:00 

MSC Magnifica (MSC) - 18th May 2014 Arriving 08:00 - Departing 17:00 

Thomson Spirit (Thomson) - 24th May 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC 

Ruby Princess (Princess) - 29th May 2014 Arriving 05:00 - Departing 20:00 

Queen Victoria (Cunard) - 30th May 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing 31st May 2014 PM TBC 

Discovery (Cruise and Maritime Voyages) - 08th June 2014 Arriving 18:00 - Departing 23:45

Discovery (Cruise and Maritime Voyages) - 18th June 2014 Arriving 09:30 - Departing 18:00 

Celebrity Infinity (Celebrity) - 19th June 2014 Arriving 08:00 - Departing 18:00 

Discovery (Cruise and Maritime Voyages) - 28th June 2014 Arriving 07:00 - Departing 19:00 

Boudicca (Fred. Olsen) - 29th June 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC 

Boudicca (Fred. Olsen) - 07th July 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC 

Minerva (Swan Hellenic) - 10th July 2014 Arriving 08:00 - Departing 22:00 

Ruby Princess (Princess) - 14th July 2014 Arriving 12:00 - Departing 23:00 

Prinsendam (Holland America) - 18th July 2014 Arriving 08:00 - Departing 17:00 

Celebrity Infinity (Celebrity) - 19th July 2014 Arriving 07:00 - Departing 20th 2014 21:00 

Boudicca (Fred. Olsen) - 21st July 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC 

Ruby Princess (Princess) - 26th July 2014 Arriving 10:00 - Departing 19:30 

Boudicca (Fred. Olsen) - 02nd August 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC 

Voyager (Voyages of Discovery) - 03rd August 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC 

Celebrity Infinity (Celebrity) - 08th August 2014 Arriving 12:00 - Departing 22:45 

AIDAcara (AIDA) - 10th August 2014 Arriving 08:00 - Departing 18:00 

MS Europa (Hapag-Lloyd) - 11th August 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC

Azamara Journey (Azamara) - 14th August 2014 Arriving 08:00 - Departing 23:59

Voyager (Voyages of Discovery) - 15th August 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC

Boudicca (Fred. Olsen) - 17th August 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC

Crystal Symphony (Crystal) - 21st August 2014 Arriving 08:00 - Departing 18:00 

AIDAcara (AIDA) - 23rd August 2014 Arriving 08:00 - Departing 18:00

Discovery (Cruise & Maritime Voyages) - 24th August 2014 Arriving 12:00 - Departing PM TBC 

Boudicca (Fred. Olsen) - 28h August 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC 

Saga Sapphire (Saga) - 29th August 2014 Arriving 07:00 - Departing 16:00

Ruby Princess (Princess) - 30th August 2014 Arriving 12:30 - Departing 22:00


Celebrity Infinity (Celebrity) - 01st September 2014 Arriving 07:00 - Departing 18:00

Discovery (Cruise & Maritime Voyages) - 02nd September 2014 Arriving 07:00 - Departing 16:00

Albatross (Phoenix Reisen) - 12th September 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC

MS Hanseatic (Hapag-Lloyd) - 20th Septembert 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC

Boudicca (Fred. Olsen) - 11th October 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC 

MS Hanseatic (Hapag-Lloyd) - 20th Septembert 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC 

Boudicca (Fred. Olsen) - 11th October 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC 

Boudicca (Fred. Olsen) - 08th November 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC

Boudicca (Fred. Olsen) - 24th November 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC

Boudicca (Fred. Olsen) - 10th December 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC

Boudicca (Fred. Olsen) - 19th December 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC 

Boudicca (Fred. Olsen) - 21st December 2014 Arriving AM TBC - Departing PM TBC

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Seaman StainesMarch 12th 2014.

Let us Splice the Mainbrace and toast the European Union for its generosity to our city and wise judgement! What kind of idiot could ever want our country to leave the E.U.?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
John BradleyMarch 12th 2014.

I'd rather leave the UK than the EU.

AnonymousMarch 12th 2014.

I wonder what he would have said about leaving the EU if they had ruled in his favour

mickeydrippin'March 13th 2014.

Totally agree Anonymous. Perhaps a little "sour grapes" by Southampton, who seem to think that they should have sole rights to all turnaround cruises within the UK.

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