£19.2m boost for Greenock cruise liner passenger facilities
Greenock’s thriving cruise ship market is set to receive a major boost as work nears completion on major new berthing facilities, capable of handling some of the world’s largest and most luxurious cruise liners.
A 200m floating pontoon is being built which will be able to accommodate super ships up to 340m long.
The £19.2m project, led by Inverclyde Council, is part of the £1bn, Glasgow City Region City Deal which is funded equally by the Scottish and UK governments.
The pontoon is made up of four, 1,000 tonne, concrete caissons - each the size of a small ship. The caissons are currently under construction at the massive Inchgreen dry dock in Greenock and work on them is expected to be finished in February. Once complete they will be towed out of the dock and secured to piles driven into the seabed.
Greenock’s Ocean Terminal, owned and operated by Peel Ports, is already a popular destination for cruise ships. The new facilities are expected to increase visitor numbers to some 150,000 passengers a year, providing a £26m boost to the Scottish economy.
Visitors will step from the pontoon into the new, state-of-the-art, Ocean Terminal - an iconic design which forms the shore-side component of the project. Work on the terminal building is expected to start this year.
Councillor Stephen McCabe, Leader of Inverclyde Council, said, “This is a very impressive feat of civil engineering which highlights the value of the Inchgreen dry dock as a maritime resource.
“The project is key part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal. The new visitor centre at the Greenock Ocean Terminal is expected to make a significant contribution to economic growth and international tourism across the wider city region area.
“The Ocean Terminal started as a container terminal but Peel Ports has significantly expanded the cruise ship side of the business over recent years. These new berthing facilities will help to support that growth and are a vote of confidence in Greenock.”
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said, “I am pleased that progress is being made on the development of Greenock Ocean Terminal. This important project will support jobs and businesses by bringing thousands of tourists to the many attractions that West Scotland has to offer.
“The UK Government is working with the Scottish Government to unlock the potential of every region. Together we are investing more than £1 billion in the Glasgow City Region Deal, and more than £2.9 billion in deals across Scotland.”
Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure Michael Matheson said, “The Scottish Government is investing £500 million in the Glasgow City Region Deal in order to deliver key infrastructure like this. Once completed, the new facility will ensure that Greenock is able to maximise on the economic benefits that cruise ships can bring, by attracting many more visitors to the area, which in turn should create jobs and attract further investment.
“This is further demonstration of the wide-ranging benefits of City Deals and Growth Deals, which the Scottish Government has now committed more than £1.8 billion to, including our additional investment.”
Two of the pontoons are 44m long by 8m wide by 5m high. The other two are 56m long, 8m wide and 5m high. They are made of steel reinforced concrete filled with polystyrene for buoyancy.