First cruise ship booked to visit Berwick next summer after work on new jetty complete

The new alignment jetty at the Port of Berwick is set to be officially opened later this week – with the first cruise ship booked to visit next summer.

Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 11:37 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd July 2020, 11:44 am
Right: Council leader Peter Jackson with Berwick Harbour Commission chief executive Alan Irving. Top left: Coun Georgina Hill, with the new jetty in the background.

There was a slight delay in construction as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, but the works are now complete and the jetty will be opened on Friday, July 3.

Berwick Harbour Commission (BHC) was successful in its 2017 bid for £2million from the Coastal Communities Fund to carry out essential works to secure its future as a viable working port and a key part of the local economy.

This included replacing the damaged wooden jetty at the entrance to the port and creating a landing pontoon to receive passengers from visiting cruise ships moored in the bay, with the first vessel booked to arrive in August next year.

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In March, Northumberland County Council’s cabinet agreed a £400,000 grant to provide coach parking, conditional on BHC entering into an option agreement with the council to lease part of the site, should the neighbouring land be acquired and used to create a larger, integrated coach/car park, which could also serve the town centre.

Coun Georgina Hill, the ward member for Berwick East, who is also a harbour commissioner, said: “The recent investment and developments at the port, with more to come, are extremely positive on a number of fronts for economic development and tourism for the Berwick area.

“You can always tell when something has been a great success when politicians from outside of the area pile in for the photo-shoots!

“Credit is due to the Harbour Commission and others within the local community who have worked so hard to make this happen.”

At the March meeting, the council leader suggested that bringing cruise ships to Berwick may see visitors making comparisons with the popular resort of Dubrovnik.

Coun Peter Jackson said that during a recent visit, he was informed that those arriving by sea may get the most attractive view of the town, going on to mention Dubrovnik – the Croatian city is a popular tourist attraction on the Adriatic Sea known for its old town surrounded by large stone walls.

Coun Cath Homer, the cabinet member for tourism, added: “I think what’s really great about this project is the excitement in the town about it. It’s a great project and I just like that it’s future-proofed.”

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