Not everything is shipshape at Liverpool's Albert Dock, where battle is raging over the future of the flagship waterfront development. Some 60 tenants argue that its potential is being plunged full fathom five by the sharply rising costs of trading there. Only two thirds complete, the dock lacks sufficient carriage trade, they claim, because promised attractions have not materialised. High service costs and high rents are also diminishing the dock's viability.
Now a new 100% "management fee" has raised passions to force eight in the tenants' dispute with the Albert Dock Company. They are also annoyed by proposals to pool the dock's advertising and promotion budgets with those for adjacent attractions.
The ADC argues that the Albert Dock is already blessed with an abundance of free media coverage, being home to the Granada news centre. It confidently predicts that the dock will soon take over from Blackpool Pleasure Beach as Britain's biggest tourist attraction.
Needless to say, the tenants would be delighted with this but fear that if they get docked any more for rents and service they will be beached in a different way.