The Isle of Man government will be asked to approve the funding to enable completion of the project, now expected in summer 2023 at a cost of £70m, more than double the original estimate.
The sum, requested at this month’s sitting of Tynwald, the Isle of Man’s Parliament, 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. The scheme was enabled by Tynwald approving funding of £38.05m.
A government minister called the issue “deeply concerning”. Overall, the project is now expected to cost £70.68m.
After the Isle of Man government agreed a long-term leasehold on the site with Peel, planning permission was secured in April 2019 for what was then billed as a £31m project, with Sisk on board as contractor. The project, which includes a 30,000 sq ft terminal building and is accessed by new highways infrastructure, has been designed by The Manser Practice.
Initially, handover was expected in October 2020, which then slipped to March 2022.
A financial motion was brought to Tynwald in July this year by the Department of Infrastructure, seeking £13.8m 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.
The motion was, however, not considered at that sitting as members agreed to allow the incoming administration – the Isle of Man had a General Election in September – to take ownership of the project, citing insufficient time to consider the detail.
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.
Infrastructure minister Tim Crookall MHK 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.’
Should members approve the suggested approach, he said, the aim will be for the ferry terminal to be completed by the middle of 2023.
Crookall concluded: ‘This issue is clearly deeply concerning and, of course, there are lessons to be learnt from it.
“My predecessor 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.’