Cruise terminal to give Greenwich financial boost
Planning is well underway for turning Greenwich Peninsula into a cruise liner terminal.
Called Enderby Wharf, the major regeneration scheme is due to be finished in 2014.
And one expert in the cruise liner industry said Greenwich was set for a major financial boost as the first big ship terminal in the capital.
Capt Michael McCarthy, the incoming chairman of the Cruise Executive, which sponsored an international cruise conference in Greenwich last week, said: "The home port for the ships arriving in Greenwich could be Germany, the US or even liners leaving from Southampton for a round Britain cruise.
"All the four, five, six and seven star companies with passengers with high yield spend will be coming. There are people looking for marquee regions to come to."
He said surveys showed the average spend of the passengers is around £180 in the town they land at, and 40 per cent of passengers, if they have a good experience, would come back on a land based holiday.
At the Greenwich Council-organised press event to see the derelict site, developer West Properties' planning director James Blakey said construction would begin at the end of this year, with completion due to take between 12 and 18 months.
As well as a 240m long cruise liner terminal - which will moor one ship at a time for an average period of three days - there will also be a 251-room hotel, 770 new homes, the refurbishment of the listed Enderby House and a skills and training academy.
It's been estimated about 25-30 liners will be welcomed in the initial years of opening, rising to around 100 and bringing 40,000 extra tourists to the region each year.
Greenwich Council's director of regeneration John Cumber said: "Thames Clippers is proof the river can work. Congestion in the river isn't a problem but in years gone by it would have been teeming and we want that back."
It was also announced this week a Morgan Stanley real estate managed fund has invested in the scheme, which has already received planning permission.