Liverpool Plans to Become Turnaround Cruise Port

The Beatles' home city may become a hot pre- or post-cruise spot in coming years: The BBC is reporting that Liverpool City Council is going to repay up to $14 million in grant aid to allow it to become a cruise-turnaround port.

The council had initially offered to return nearly $8 million, used to build the city's liner terminal, to the government but was told it needed to offer more.

At present, cruise ships only dock at Liverpool's terminal after starting from a different port. The new plans would allow it to become a turnaround port, where ships begin or end their journey and are serviced between cruises.

In return for lifting the restrictions, Liverpool Council offered to pay back $8 million of the government grants used to build the terminal - the project received $14 million in government funding and a further $13 million from Europe.

Southampton council leader Royston Smith, who had opposed the grant aid, said he was "content" with the offer.

Civic authorities in the two cities had been in conflict when Southampton claimed the grant was a subsidy that gave Liverpool an unfair commercial edge in the cruise liner trade.

Public funding of Liverpool's Pier Head development, including the cruise terminal which opened in 2007, was made on condition it was only used for cruise stop-offs, not turnarounds.

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