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Last Updated: Friday, 27 June, 2003, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
Leisure future for Laird yard
The former Cammel Laird shipyard
The ex-shipyard has been derelict for several years
The new owners of the former Cammell Laird yard in Merseyside have ruled out bringing shipbuilding back.

Instead the businessmen, who have bought the 67-acre site on the banks of the Mersey, have proposed the construction of a major leisure complex.

The consortium, which has bought the derelict site from BAe Systems, said there is no market left in the UK to sustain building ships at the Wirral site.

If the plans are given the go-ahead site owners believe up to 5,000 jobs could be created under the plans, which could include a new home for Tranmere Rovers.

Proposals include a live music arena, museum, riverside apartments and conference facilities.

We're going forward to look at major regeneration, to create a substantial number of jobs
Mike Ryder, property director
Mike Ryder, property director for the consortium, told BBC Radio Merseyside: "Our aspirations were to look at various options, including the potential of shipbuilding.

"We've now gone forward and spoken to several key players in the shipbuilding/ship repair market and we've found that that market just isn't available anymore.

"So we're now going forward with the alternative plan, which is to look at major regeneration, to create a substantial number of jobs."

Referring to the issue of Tranmere Rovers moving to the site, he said the company is hoping to have detailed discussions with the club.

Sports 'focus'

"We've been looking at that working very closely with Wirral Borough Council.

"It would be a multi-use stadium. so we would have a central focal point for sports stadia, and indeed sports academies within the area."

He said Wirral council has reacted positively to the plans, but the consortium has been urged to include an element of shipbuilding, which he said it is open to.

Mike Ryder speaks to BBC Radio Merseyside
"We're hoping to get the very best for the region and for the people of Wirral"

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