Politicians and councillors attended the construction site at Portsmouth International Port for the ground breaking of the new terminal extension, enabled by £11.25m in government levelling-up funding.
Once it is completed next spring, the new terminal will feature check-in points and baggage drop-offs to accommodate up to 2,000 additional passengers at one time.
The expansion is considered ‘essential’ to the port’s masterplan, which looks to exceed over 200 cruise calls within the next three years, according to port director Mike Sellers.
He said: ‘We have certainly found a niche in terms of cruise for the high-end boutique and expedition turn around cruises. What this will provide is what a cruise passenger will expect.’
Attending the port, Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said the new terminal and the masterplan will attract ‘hundreds of millions of pounds’ of tourism trade for Portsmouth every year.
The MP added: ‘Every step of the way whether it’s freight of passengers coming into the port, the government has invested here, and that’s because the return on that investment is huge.
‘The levelling up bid we put in, part of it is coming to the port here, but we are also investing £9m into the north of Portsmouth, and I am delighted about that. We are going to be regenerate the whole of the Hilsea Lido area and we will be putting in a linear park.’
The port was part of a successful £20m levelling up bid to renovate facilities across Hilsea and Cosham, which also includes funding to create the longest urban park linear park in the north of the city.
The port’s new terminal will l be one of the first in the country to run on net-zero carbon emissions, thanks to combination of solar panels, battery storage, and sustainable sea water used to heat the building.
Portsmouth City Councillor Steve Pitt, council lead for culture, leisure and economic development said: ‘It’s important that the port is able to grow without negatively impacting on the local climate and the port has an aspiration to be carbon neutral by 2030.’