A £19.2 million project to deliver new berthing facilities in Greenock is nearing completion.
The town’s cruise ship market is expected to receive a major boost, with the new facilities said to be capable of handling some of the world’s largest and most luxurious cruise liners.
A 200m floating pontoon is being built, which can accommodate ships up to 340m-long.
The project has been led by Inverclyde Council and is part of the £1 billion Glasgow City Region City Deal, which is funded by the Scottish and UK governments.
The pontoon is made up of four approximately 1,000-tonne concrete caissons. They are under construction at the Inchgreen dry dock in Greenock, with work expected to finish in February. Once complete they will be towed out of the dock and secured to piles driven into the seabed.
Greenock’s Ocean Terminal, owned and operated by Peel Ports, is already a popular destination for cruise ships. The new facilities are expected to significantly increase visitor numbers and provide a boost to the economy.
Councillor Stephen McCabe, leader of Inverclyde Council said, “This is a very impressive feat of civil engineering which highlights the value of the Inchgreen dry dock as a maritime resource. The project is key part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal. The new visitor centre at the Greenock Ocean Terminal is expected to make a significant contribution to economic growth and international tourism across the wider city region area.
“The Ocean Terminal started as a container terminal but Peel Ports has significantly expanded the cruise ship side of the business over recent years. These new berthing facilities will help to support that growth and are a vote of confidence in Greenock.”
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack added, “I am pleased that progress is being made on the development of Greenock Ocean Terminal. This important project will support jobs and businesses by bringing thousands of tourists to the many attractions that West Scotland has to offer. The UK Government is working with the Scottish Government to unlock the potential of every region. Together we are investing more than £1 billion in the Glasgow City Region Deal, and more than £2.9 billion in deals across Scotland.”
Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure Michael Matheson commented, “The Scottish Government is investing £500 million in the Glasgow City Region Deal in order to deliver key infrastructure like this. Once completed, the new facility will ensure that Greenock is able to maximise on the economic benefits that cruise ships can bring, by attracting many more visitors to the area, which in turn should create jobs and attract further investment. This is further demonstration of the wide-ranging benefits of City Deals and Growth Deals, which the Scottish Government has now committed more than £1.8 billion to, including our additional investment.”