Peel’s £50bn Ocean Gateway to launch with charity splash

Peel's James Whittaker will on Tuesday announce plans to swim 36 miles of the Manchester Ship Canal in September to mark a new brand for the group's portfolio.

The development and transport giant is holding a press conference at Salford Quays on Tuesday morning when James Whittaker, development director and son of Peel owner John Whittaker, will outline plans for the two-day swim in support of Manchester's New Children's Hospital Appeal. Tomorrow's event will be attended by hospital patrons, Everton FC footballer Phil Neville, and his wife Julie.

Beyond the charitable cause, the swim on 5 and 6 September will be used to launch a vast development programme with an end value of £50bn for the ship canal and Mersey estuary area. The proposals will be outlined to invited guests on board ferries set to tour the canal during the two days.

Lindsey Ashworth, also development director of Peel, said the Ocean Gateway launch would seek to gather existing assets such as Media City UK in Salford, Port of Liverpool, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, the ship canal, Port of Salford and the planned development of hundreds of acres of former docks in Liverpool Waters and Wirral Waters, in one brand.

Ashworth added: "We want to combine all that we own in the region and advertise the investment programme under one name.

"The Ocean Gateway concept can be used to sell the region overseas as a way of saying 'if you come here you can access all this in one'.

"It can also encourage other companies to get involved and help build up the area. If we deliver the 100 assets or so that we have in the region then there is a pinball effect whereby everyone benefits. We also want local authorities to see the shared value of this approach and not always compete with each other for investment."

Peel owns 25,000 acres of development and investment land in the North West.

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