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…. and it’s £8.8m if repaid as a lump sum, or £12.6m is phased over 15 years. Here’s a link to the DfT minister’s statement.

Southampton aren’t happy – here’s a link to a BBC News page giving reactions from various people there.

There is a suggestion in that latter page that it’s still not 100% settled however – Southampton MP John Denham is quoted as saying “It’s now down to the European Union to ensure that state aid rules are fairly applied.” So this one could run and run. However in the meantime it looks as if cruises will be starting and finishing in Liverpool rather than Bootle.

It will be interesting to see if Liverpool are able to interest many lines in shifting some cruises to Liverpool from other places. Fred Olsen ran cruises on their old Black Prince from Liverpool (Langton Dock) until that ship was sold, and it was then realised that the ships they wanted to use instead were too big to navigate the entrance to that dock easily. The big prize however would be Cunard, who have made encouraging noises: but translating those to actual turnaround cruises in Liverpool would be a big step, and a real achievement by the port of Liverpool.

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