Ferry terminal costs ‘deeply concerning’

Infrastructure Minister Tim Crookall has admitted the £32m hike in the price of the new ferry terminal in Liverpool is ‘deeply concerning’.

Earlier today Gef reported that Tynwald will be asked to approve increasing the funding of the Isle of Man ferry terminal in Liverpool to more than £70 million.

Mr Crookall has now acknowledged the spiralling cost of the scheme is not ideal. He also confirmed that the completion date of March next year will not be met.

He said: ‘This issue is clearly deeply concerning and, of course, there are lessons to be learnt from it.

‘My predecessor (Tim Baker) has already referred the matter to be reviewed as part of the political scrutiny procedure that exists and we will all work to support this process. However, we must make a decision on the future of this project and this should be our immediate focus.’

Tynwald sits the week after next and members will be asked to approve additional funding of £32,621,921 to enable the completion of the Liverpool ferry terminal.

Gov says the extra money sum is required to address issues which have arisen since the project to build the terminal at Prince’s Half-Tide Dock began in November 2019 – after Tynwald approved funding of £38.05m.

The overall cost is forecast to be £70.68m.

In July the DoI sought Tynwald approval for an extra £13.8m – to add to the £38m – to ensure that ‘sufficient funding was available for known costs and to allow time to assess options around shielding the quay wall from possible future damage, known as scour protection’.

But members deferred a decision until after the September election to allow the new administration to take charge, also citing insufficient time to consider the detail.

Gov says: ‘The funding being sought at that stage was intended to enable the project to continue while a scour protection solution was identified.

‘The department’s recommended solution has now been tendered and this cost is included in the figure being requested at this month’s sitting to enable the project to be completed.’

Mr Crookall said: ‘The decision in July to postpone a vote on additional funding placed responsibility for delivery squarely with the new administration, and this new motion intends to ensure this important strategic project is delivered for the people of the Isle of Man.

‘Tynwald members are being briefed on all the issues which need to be addressed to cement the Island’s maritime connection with the heart of Liverpool for future generations.’

He added: ‘While the current completion date agreed with the contractor is still on record as being March 2022, it is important that people understand this will not be met, as explained by my predecessor in July.

‘If members approve the suggested approach, and funding is secured at this month’s Tynwald sitting to allow existing challenges to be successfully overcome, we will be aiming for the Isle of Man Ferry Terminal in Liverpool to be completed by the middle of 2023.’

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