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  • "Seems to be a lot of Bitterness from you Southern Jessies.All your sad attempts to retain the cruise liner franchise have failed.Believe me Liverpool will once again be the starting and ending point of cruises in this country.Unless you have visited our proud and beautiful city you will find this hard to understand.I've never been to your city but lets be honest who would want to.So be gracious in your defeat and i'll give you a good deal on some hubcaps because apparently thats all we do."
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Liverpool told to pay back cash in cruise row with Southampton

Liverpool told to pay back cash in cruise row with Southampton

Liverpool cruise terminal

Liverpool cruise terminal

First published in Shipping Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Parliamentary Correspondent

MINISTERS have this morning announced how much public cash Liverpool will have to repay to muscle in on Southampton’s cruise industry.

Shipping Minister Mike Penning has said a one-off payment of £8.8m, or £12.6m spread over 15 years, would be sufficient for restrictions to be lifted.

The Merseysiders had offered to pay back just £5.5m of the £9.2m grants.

Mr Penning told MPs: “In my view this represents a fair outcome that addresses competition concerns while enhancing the benefits to secure which the grants were initially paid.”

The statement will anger some in the Southampton camp by offering the chance to spread payments until 2027. And it makes no reference to a separate EU grant of around £8.6 million, which Liverpool has not offered to repay.

Final removal of the conditions will depend on state aid clearance from the European Commission, although Liverpool plans to restart cruises from its terminal within weeks

Reacting to the announcement, Southampton Itchen MP John Denham, said: “The Minister’s decision to require Liverpool to pay back more of the public subsidy on their cruise terminal vindicates the campaign that I and many organisations in the city have been running. It shows we were right to raise concerns that fair competition was being undermined.

“However, Liverpool is still only being asked to pay back less than half the subsidy they have received. It’s now down to the European Union to ensure that State Aid rules are fairly applied.”

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