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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 11:08 GMT 12:08 UK
Cruise ships return to Cumbria
Fred Olsen liner Black Prince
The Black Prince docked at Barrow on Tuesday
Cruise ship tourism has been revived in west Cumbria.

The first passenger ship to visit Barrow in two years, docked at the town on Tuesday night.

More than 400 passengers on the Fred Olsen liner Black Prince are spending Wednesday exploring Barrow and the surrounding area.

It is the first of two cruise ship visits planned for the summer.

It is hoped the town can be further developed as a cruise ship destination.

Cruise ship tourism is seen as a way to combat the effects of 700 job losses at the town's major employer BAe Systems.

Development bosses claim using Cumbria's west coast as a base for cruise vessels could bring millions of pounds into the county.

Captain Steven Young of Associated British Ports, says the arrival of the Black Prince will raise Barrow's profile.

He said: "Bringing thousands of people into the area can only be good for west Cumbria.

"West Cumbria definitely needs a shot in the arm and this could be answer we have all been looking for.

'Point of entry'

"People have tried before to get people into west Cumbria, but of course they seem to stick in the Lakes and don't go anywhere beyond there.

"We need to get these people up here as well and I'm sure everyone in west Cumbria can benefit from this kind of project."

The Northwest Development Agency says the scheme to allow cruise ships to use the town's port facilities could bring in millions of tourist pounds.

And a spokesman for Barrow Task Force said: "This could provide a significant point of entry into Cumbria for people who are taking cruises.

"It is a rapidly expanding business and we see no reason why Cumbria should not benefit from this."

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