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Liverpool welcomes £1bn complex

A major part of Liverpool's regeneration was celebrated today with the unveiling of a stunning £1 billion complex.

Developers have transformed a previously desolate 42-acre city centre site into Liverpool One - which features more than 160 shops, two hotels, 600 apartments, a five acre park, cafes, bars, restaurants and parking for 3,000 vehicles.

The city - this year's European Capital of Culture - has waited a long time for the ambitious plans to come to fruition - planning permission was given in 1999 and work started on site in spring 2004.

Urban regeneration specialist and chief executive of Liverpool One Joanne Jennings said: "This is the beginning of the rebirth of Liverpool city centre.

"After years of design and building work we can throw down many of the fences around Liverpool One and let people know exactly what we've been doing."

Today's opening - which will be complete in September when the remainder of the project is unveiled - reconnects the city centre to the historic water front.