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Merseyside Port

Volume 248: debated on Tuesday 25 October 1994

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what role he has in connection with proposed new port facilities by the Merseyside development corporation; what effect these proposed facilities will have on sea traffic from Belfast to the north-west of England; what interests from outside the United Kingdom are involved in the provision or operation of these proposed facilities; what funding the proposed project will receive from the European Community; and if he will make a statement about these proposals by the Merseyside development corporation.

Merseyside development corporation, which is sponsored by this Department, has marketed a 55-acre riverside at Twelve Quays, Birkenhead, for a business park and an in-river ro-ro terminal. I am encouraged by the interest that has been shown in the proposed ferry terminal.MDC has given preferred developer status for the site to London and General, acting with Capital and Regional Properties, which are both United Kingdom development companies.The corporation's disposal of the site is a matter for the MDC to determine in accordance with the Department's disposal guidelines. Any application for grant assistance that the developer may make to MDC will also be subject to approval in accordance with Departmental guidelines; similarly any application for European Community funding will be subject to the appraisal process for objective 1 funds.