BUSINESS owners have backed a bid to get cruise ship crews ploughing hundreds of thousands of pounds into a town centre.

Over the summer Harwich Town Council provided transport for crews in an effort to entice them to the town centre instead of the retail park next to the port.

The council spent £4,000 on a bus service from Harwich International Port.

With the backing of local business they hope to keep the scheme running in 2014.

Councillor Ivan Henderson said: “One business said their sales were up 20 per cent on cruise ship days – but their computer system couldn’t keep up with the crews emailing home.

“It is very positive and I am hoping the council will support another year of the crew cruise ship bus.”