Greenock

Council led £19.2m cruise facilities construction underway

Construction of a new council led cruise ship visitor centre is underway as part of a £19.2m development, which will welcome passengers and crew from some of the world’s largest and most luxurious vessels to Inverclyde.

Led by Inverclyde Council, the project is part of the £1bn Glasgow City Region City Deal, which is funded by both the UK and Scottish governments.

The remaining contributions are from Peel Ports (£8m), who are the operators of the existing Greenock Ocean Terminal, as well as the George Wyllie Foundation via the Dunard Trust (£1.5m).

It is expected to increase visitor numbers to some 150,000 passengers a year and provide a £26m boost to the Scottish economy.

The dedicated cruise ship visitor centre will feature an arrivals/departure hall, as well as a museum paying tribute to the late, world-famous artist George Wyllie, who worked as a Customs Officer in Greenock and lived for many years in Gourock.

As well as this, there will also be a high-end restaurant and roof terrace with panoramic views of the River Clyde.

A new 200-metre floating pontoon was recently completed by the port operators as part of the overall project.

Work on the visitor centre has resumed following the appointment of a new contractor after the original builder withdrew for financial reasons and is expected to be completed by summer 2022.

Commenting, Leader of Inverclyde Council, Councillor Stephen McCabe said:

“This is an important milestone in a development, which is of huge significance to Inverclyde, the wider city region and Scotland.

“We want people from near and far to discover Inverclyde and making a positive first impression with a striking visitor centre, coupled with our famous warm and friendly welcome, will help to do that and encourage our guests to return again in the future.

“The building will also be an asset for the local community outside of the cruise call season and is part of the ongoing regeneration of Greenock town centre, so there are many benefits of what will be a first-class facility.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland, Iain Stewart said:

This fantastic new visitor centre represents a major step forward in the regeneration of Greenock.

It will provide a real boost to the local economy and community, while offering visitors a warm welcome and a taste of Inverclyde’s culture and heritage.

The UK Government is investing more than £1.5bn into City Region and Growth Deals right across Scotland, helping create jobs and drive growth as we recover from the pandemic.

Scottish Government Tourism Minister, Ivan McKee added:

I am pleased to see such a remarkable development, especially given the strains of the pandemic.

This new visitor centre at Greenock Ocean Terminal will make a significant contribution to the local area, supporting economic growth in the local community and the wider city region whilst promoting tourism.

The Scottish Government is contributing £500m over 20 years to the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

The investment in this project through the deal will contribute to the region’s economic recovery by creating jobs and providing the commercial infrastructure to support and attract businesses to the local area.

The new berth and visitor centre will also free up space at the busy Greenock Ocean Terminal, which was originally built as a container terminal for freight business.

The first cruise ship to call at Greenock since the start of the pandemic arrived on 22 July, with almost 50 booked in for the rest of this year, while more than 100 ships are due in 2022.

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