The bids are now being considered by the operators of the north-west England port’s existing facility, Liverpool City Council, as it wrestles with options to deliver a further £90m ($112m) savings from its overall budget.
Liverpool’s cruise operation is one of only a small number at UK ports which is managed by the local authority.
The council chose to build and operate the existing berth ten years ago, as a public sector-financed investment, rather than attract private sector development of facilities by port owners and operators, or enter a joint venture agreement.
The facility has delivered a decade of success for the city, winning multiple awards and seeing steady year on year growth in both day call and turnaround business.
Official figures reveal the terminal generated £7m ($8.7m) for the Liverpool economy last year alone.
Buoyed by the terminal’s success in welcoming many thousands of overseas visitors to Liverpool, and its contribution to the wider visitor economy, the council has long held aspirations to develop expanded facilities including a new terminal with a capacity for more than 3,000 passenger and a growth in turnaround business.
The city’s mayor Joe Anderson remains committed to the scheme despite the challenges being faced elsewhere in his authority.
He said: ‘I have always been clear that my priorities are to protect the most vulnerable in our city and to grow the economy. We have a duty to go on delivering major capital schemes that will bring major economic benefits such as investment in roads and investment in big regeneration projects like the cruise liner terminal bringing in visitors.’
Angie Redhead, Head of Cruise Operations and also Chair of CruiseBritain said ’’Liverpool’s cruise industry has blossomed over the past decade, helping to transform the tourism appeal of Liverpool and give the Mersey a new lease of life.
I’m privileged to be part of such a thriving, dynamic and forward thinking maritime community in the city I love and I’m really looking forward to our continued growth and success in the future as we develop plans for a new, larger cruise terminal.”
The plans now being considered were submitted after the council invited expressions of interest late last year with a deadline of January 23, later extended to February 6.
A report and recommendation to councillors is now being prepared and is expected to be tabled next month. The council has also been exploring ways of financing any new development which sources predict could cost at least £40m ($49m).