Infrastructure Minister Tim Crookall has confirmed his dept is working towards bringing a motion to December Tynwald to ask for more cash for the Liverpool landing stage.

Mr Crookall was asked for an update by his now CoMin colleagues, Lib Vannin leader Lawrie Hooper.

So far just under two thirds of £38.05m approved budget for the scheme has been spent, with funds due to run out in March 2022. Tynwald made it clear during the last administration that it wasn’t happy that the scheme was due to increase to over £50m for the new landing stage.

The DoI Minister has said: ‘At the July 2021 sitting of Tynwald, the previous Minister put forward an interim financial motion for £13.8 million, principally due to the impact of Covid plus compensation events arising from land remediation but withdrew the motion to allow Members of the new Court to have a greater period of time to consider the final figures in more detail. The Department is currently working to bring forward a financial motion to Tynwald in December 2021. The most significant outstanding decision relates to scour protection. Final details are awaited but any financial impact will be covered in the financial motion.’

Recent Work

Since the scheme restarted in November 2019, having been shut down for Covid, work has continued with pause. Mr Crookall said that recent work has included:

‘Completion of the substation and the piles for the terminal building.
Laying of the foundations for the terminal building, which commenced during the week commencing the 11th October 2021.
Painting of the steel structure for the building, which is being undertaken off site to save programme time.
The West Waterloo Dock inlets have been sheet piled and infilled. Trench work for the multi-utility services has commenced.
Marine piles have been fabricated and will be delivered to site during the first week of November 2021 ready for installation.
The quay wall bollard bases are now complete.
Dredging works will commence in mid-November 2021.
The link span and passenger access system fabrications are progressing very well and are expected to arrive on site at the end of November 2021.’

A Little History Lesson

Back in 2015, the Steam Packet said Peel Ports would invest £15m in a replacement facility for the Pier Head terminal, but would require a long-term financial commitment from then privately owned company. Luckily for us the Manx gov got involved and now the taxpayer is footing the entire bill. The site was bought from Peel Ports on a lease hold basis with Tynwald originally given an estimate of £25m for the scheme, that then rose to £30m and subsequently £38m. Now it appears we are unlikely to see any change from £50m and some MHKs have quietly said they expect to see further cost increases before the terminal opens.

Steam Packet

Back in April, a Steam Packet spokesman told Gef that the company didn’t think it would be using the landing stage until 2023.

He said: ‘Because of the current uncertainties as to delivery date, Steam Packet is planning to use the new berth from Spring 2023 for the fast craft season.’

However, the company has secured the usage of its current Pier Head landing stage until the end of the 2022 season. While the linkspan has previously been referred to as ‘life expired’, the company spokesman said: ‘Peel ports are doing works paid for by Steam Packet to allow them to use it for the whole of the 2022 fast craft season.’

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