Cruise ships using Portsmouth port set to double as business leaders eye income boost
THE number of cruise ships using the city’s port is set to double under a major £18m expansion.
Portsmouth International Port revealed detailed plans for an £18.7m cash injection agreed by its owner, Portsmouth City Council.
The development is part of an overall £33.7m port development which will also see the city’s cargo dockyard firm Portico – formerly MMD Shipping Services – undergo a complete overhaul.
Business leaders and councillors were given a tour of the site by port director Mike Sellers who detailed the plans last week.
He said: ‘The fact we have secured the money for this development is fantastic news for both the port and city.
‘The port is owned by the council and so any additional revenue we generate from this development goes back into the city.
‘The more successful the port, the better for the city.’
Mr Sellers’ presentation revealed the ferry terminal’s capacity is to be increased to around 2,000 people, with separate areas for cruise and ferry passengers.
He said: ‘The terminal will include baggage handling facilities and new boarding building, with more efficient walkway, to replace the current 30-year-old tower.
‘The dockside is also to be levelled from the current two-tier structure to improve accessibility for cruise ships.
Mr Sellers added that the port have already ‘secured the business of major cruise lines’ and that ‘we wouldn’t be making this investment if we weren’t confident of it being a success’.
Mr Sellers said: ‘This will increase the ports capacity to deal with cruise ships up to 253 metres from the current 240. This would greatly increase number of vessels we are capable of dealing with.
‘As a result we would be looking to double our annual cruise calls from the 48 we had last year to over 100.’
Cabinet member for planning and development, Councillor Ben Dowling, said: ‘Last year’s cruise industry brought in £8m to the city’s economy.
‘More people visiting our many tourist attractions and spending money in local businesses will only serve to enhance our economy.’