Mumbles could become destination for small cruise companies
MUMBLES could become a destination for small cruise ships from across the UK.
Cruise companies running tours around the country from locations such as Southampton and Avonmouth have expressed an interest in adding the seaside village to their list of destinations.
The news comes as work continues on the £12.5 million project to restore Mumbles Pier.
The scheme is jointly funded by the RNLI and pier owners Ameco Ltd with an operational end date of the end of this year.
The revamped pier will be free to walk on and developers expect to hold an official opening in the early part of spring 2014.
Ameco managing director John Bollom said: "We still need to look at the overall feasibility, but there is definite scope to have a landing stage that could accommodate passenger craft and even tenders from some of the smaller cruise ships that travel around the UK coast.
"Needless to say, the potential benefits for the Mumbles & Gower area would be considerable."
Ameco is raising its share of finance to restore the pier by selling off foreshore holdings for residential and commercial development. Planning consent was given by Swansea Council in 2011 following large-scale public consultation.
Mr Bollom added: "We could not have come this far without the support of the wider community and Mumbles traders.
"We're grateful that they have supported our aim to make the pier site a top-notch attraction and raise the tourism profile of the area."
Negotiations on land deals have reached a final stage and an announcement is expected on development partners at the end of the month.
Sandy Whitford, partner with long-established Mumbles shoe shop Whitford, said: "Mumbles does need a lift.
"There is not enough money being spent in Mumbles to show it off to its best ability.
"Its good to keep its charm, but it also needs to move with the times."