JOE ANDERSON pledged Liverpool would have the best cruise terminal in Britain today – as he suggested an £8.8m payback demanded by the government would be handed over within months.
The Mayor of Liverpool said he was confident the city council would make a lump-sum payment, rather than face a bill of £12.6m – nearly 50% higher – by phasing repayments over up to 15 years.
And he vowed the start of “turnaround” cruises next week would be just the start, saying: "We are going to build a terminal that will be the envy of other ports."
Mayor Anderson spoke after the department for transport (Dft) finally revealed the bill for its agreement to lift the ban on launching cruises from Pier Head.
Ministers accepted two options – £8.6m upfront, or £12.6m over 15 years including interest – recommended by an independent assessor.
The amounts are significantly more than the £5.3m Liverpool City Council originally offered to repay, a sum the Dft ruled was "insufficient", in January.
Nevertheless, Mayor Anderson, asked if a lump-sum payment was possible, said: "I'm confident we will be able to do that, rather than pay the additional £4m. We will pay it back as quickly as we can, rather than stretch it out."