Duke’s £1bn commitment to Liverpool honoured

The Mersey Partnership has formally recognised the contribution by the Duke of Westminster and his property group, Grosvenor, to the city through the development of Liverpool One.

His Grace received a special award during a dinner hosted by the area's investment and tourism agency for 120 guests at the Crypt of the Metropolitan Cathedral.

Lorraine Rogers, chief executive of TMP, told guest: "No-one has made a greater and more effective contribution to the transformation of Liverpool city centre than our guest of honour this evening.

"The Duke of Westminster has not only demonstrated his personal confidence in the people of the Liverpool city region but also his confidence in the economic prospects for the city region. His commitment to deliver the redevelopment of 42 acres of the city centre – and then his further commitment to deliver it during the Capital of Culture year – gave the city a new impetus and a "can do" attitude. Liverpool One is a very a tangible reminder of the progress that we have seen over the last few years."

The chairman of TMP, Rod Holmes, was retail projects director at Grosvenor during construction and opening of Liverpool One.

Since opening in phases in May and October 2008, Liverpool One has been hugely popular with consumers and helped boost city centre footfall. However, Grosvenor has lost around £300m on the project to date through construction problems and falling property values. The scheme was nominated for this year's RIBA Stirling Prize for British architecture.

Rogers presented the Duke with a framed and inscribed print of artist Ben Johnson's painting, Liverpool Cityscape.

His Grace the Duke of Westminster said: "It is immensely satisfying to me that we have been able to contribute to the on-going regeneration of the region and I am enormously proud of what Grosvenor has created at Liverpool One. I am only a small part of this development, I am indebted to the Grosvenor team and our partners, but it was the entire city pulling together that has really made this work."

He added: "I, my family and Liverpool owe Rod a great debt of gratitude."

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