The government has said the new Isle of Man Ferry Terminal in Liverpool won’t be used until next year.

This comes after Infrastructure Minister Chris Thomas said the terminal, a project which has been much delayed since its inception, would be completed by autumn this year.

However, the government says that staff training at the terminal buildings will ‘get underway in January 2024’ and berthing trials will take place early on next year ahead of the Manannan carrying the terminal’s first passengers at the end of March.

‘The Manxman will undertake berthing trials in Liverpool later in 2024 prior to the start of the winter weekend sailings schedule,’ it said.

‘The terminal buildings, passenger facilities and land-based work are set to be completed this summer.

‘Currently on site, furniture is in the process of being installed, with baggage handling and security equipment installation due imminently.

‘Externally, the marine works continue to present challenges due to the testing environment.

‘The pace has, however, been able pick up due to better weather, and more than 70 per cent of the scour protection has now been installed.

‘All marine works are estimated for completion in the autumn.’

Minister Thomas told members that while the terminal building is estimated to be completed for ‘late May/early June’, the marine works won’t be finished until ‘autumn 2023’.

This is due to bad weather which disrupted the marine works over the winter, but as the weather has improved, work has sped up.

Earlier this month, Mr Thomas explained that 70% of the scour protection has been installed but he doesn’t wish to provide a specific date for that ‘at this stage’.

He said: ‘Final completion will be driven by the marine works and therefore I do not wish to provide a specific date at this stage but would like to confirm previous estimated date of completion in autumn 2023.’

He added that he remains optimistic that the current planned completion date of autumn 2023 will happen despite previous challenges with the weather.

Though Mr Thomas wouldn’t provide an estimation for how much the terminal has cost the taxpayer to date, the last figure reported was over £70 million.