Hampshire Chamber welcomes cruise port announcement by Minister
26 Jan 12
It was a step in the right direction in respect of Southampton's case against Liverpool's proposals to alter the use of the City of Liverpool Cruise Terminal, as The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Mike Penning MP, announced that there exists a strong argument against relaxing of a grant condition that precludes use of the City of Liverpool Cruise Terminal for turnaround (start or end of cruise) operations, in return for the phased repayment of £5.3 million of grants.
Captain Jimmy Chestnutt, Chief Executive of Hampshire Chamber and Chairman of the UK Cruise Port Alliance, said: “Any subsidy is a subsidy too far. Protesters from cruise ports across the country, including Hampshire Chamber of Commerce representing Southampton and Portsmouth, will be delighted to hear the Government now agrees that the proposal as it stands is unfair and damaging to the cruise industry.
“However, we believe the industry should be run on a commercial basis and that there is no place for public subsidy of any kind. So we are concerned that this simple principle has still not been accepted.
“Full repayment of all the public money, including the £9m match funding from Europe, should be a mandatory condition if the Liverpool terminal wants to compete with private investment for the turnaround cruise business.
“The issue has always been about ensuring a level playing field and safeguarding businesses and jobs in Southampton, Portsmouth and other ports around the country.
“We are not against competition but we are against unfair competition and the use of public money to subsidise competition.”
A final decision is due shortly.
Please see links below for a copy of the Minister's announcement and supporting information