Greenock cruise visitor plans given green light
Councillors have approved plans for a new visitor centre, restaurant and gallery at Greenock Ocean Terminal.
The overall project, led by Inverclyde Council, is part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal and aims to provide a new berthing facility and visitor centre to boost cruise ship passengers welcomed to Scotland through the Greenock facility operated by Peel Ports.
In addition to the state of the art visitor centre designed by Richard Murphy Architects, the plans also include a purpose built gallery celebrating the work of Inverclyde resident and artist George Wyllie (1921-2012) and a new restaurant with panoramic views across the Clyde.
As part of the outline business case published by Inverclyde Council, it is estimated that over 150,000 passengers could pass through Greenock Ocean Terminal delivering £26 million in annual visitor and crew spend to the Scottish economy.
Inverclyde Council leader Councillor Stephen McCabe said: “Planning application approval is an important milestone in the delivery of this project as part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal. The aim of the project is to boost the capacity at Greenock Ocean Terminal for cruise ships. The addition of a restaurant and Wyllie Gallery will help to provide a year round attraction for visitors to Greenock and Inverclyde at this iconic building on the banks of Clyde.
“As a key City Deal project, the new visitor centre at Greenock Ocean Terminal aims to make a significant contribution to economic growth and international tourism across the wider city region area.”
Councillor David Wilson, Inverclyde planning board convener, welcomed the approval of the planning application. He said: “This is a welcome application and one the board where wholehearted in their approval. Inverclyde has a great deal to offer the visitor whether coming to Scotland by cruise ship from all over the world or visiting from other parts of the United Kingdom. The new visitor centre, gallery and restaurant will enhance the offer to domestic and overseas visitors. The economic value of the cruise ship sector to Scotland is a key part of this project and its value to the country, particularly with the potential to substantially grow in future years, should not be underestimated.”
The proposal for a new Wyllie Gallery showcasing the life and work of the artist will also stage important exhibitions and events celebrating contemporary artists from across Scotland and further afield.
The Greenock Ocean Terminal project to create a visitor centre and berthing facility is expected to cost £14.7m as part of the £1bn Glasgow City Region City Deal which is funded equally by the Scottish and UK governments.
The visitor centre is scheduled for completion in 2020.