Peel International Trade Centre approved

Peel has been granted planning permission from Wirral Council for its International Trade Centre project in Birkenhead.

The Peel ITC will comprise of a series of buildings constructed in phases providing a total floor area of approximately 2.5m sq ft and a total investment of approximately £175m.

The facility will include trade showrooms to display, promote and sell wholesale products to customers from the UK and Europe.

Peel said the ITC will help raise the profile of the North West to an international level and will be the catalyst for the regeneration of Wirral by creating local employment opportunities.

Lindsey Ashworth, development director at Peel Holdings, said: "This is a fantastic decision for the people in Wirral who have been 100% behind the idea since proposals were announced at the beginning of this year. The Peel ITC will help kick-start the main Wirral Waters scheme at East Float for which planning permission was granted at the end of last year.

"Our vision is for the long term regeneration of Merseyside and the Northwest by attracting international investment and through the Peel ITC this could be the start that we so desperately need."

David Percival, UKTI head of investment teams in China, added: "It has been my pleasure to work with Peel to get the project to this stage. UKTI works to attract world class foreign companies to invest in the UK which is a perfect fit with the goals of the Peel ITC. I look forward to working with Peel to attract such companies from China that I am sure will deliver significant economic benefits including hundreds of jobs to the Wirral, The North West and the UK."

Peel said the ITC will be the largest and most sustainable international trade centre in Europe and once completed will enable over 1,000 companies from China, South Korea and India to trade exclusively with the wholesale market.

Peel added that the status of enterprise zone recently awarded to its Mersey Waters scheme by the Government is an added benefit to the ITC as all overseas businesses will pay substantially reduced local taxes for the first five years of occupation.

Stella Shiu, a high-ranking member of the Chinese government and chairman of Sam Wa Minerals, will be Peel's joint venture partner for phase one of the Peel ITC.

Shiu said: "With support from Sam Wa's UK team including legal advisors Martineau and Loynton, Sam Wa has built strong links between China and the UK at the highest levels, and we are already seeing huge interest in China to the idea of coming to the Wirral.

"What is attractive is Peel's vision of the northwest emerging as a new "super region", with economic development at the heart of this regeneration scheme, and also Peel's commitment to sustainability which will ensure the Peel ITC embraces the latest green technologies available. This scheme will certainly put the Wirral firmly on the map, not just for Chinese businesses and investors but for UK and European businesses as well. Now we have plannng perrmission, we can look forward to the area becoming a trading hub which will lead to employment prospects and business opportunities for people in the UK, Europe and world-wide."

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