The City Region

The Mersey Estuary is at the heart of Liverpool City Region. The City Region’s economy has grown strongly over the past decade and the Mersey Estuary and the Manchester Ship Canal continue to play an important part in both the city region and the UK’s position in world trade.

The Port and Ship Canal are now in the same ownership. Together they handle more than 40million tonnes of cargo and 15,000 ship movements a year making the Mersey Britain’s third busiest estuary.

Maritime industries

Over 1000 maritime businesses are championed by Mersey Maritime. These employ more than 26,000 people with a turnover of £2.5billion per annum.

The chemicals industry has a major presence in the Estuary, including Shell UK’s Stanlow Manufacturing Complex. It is the only Shell refinery in the UK, processing 12 million tonnes of crude oil a year, mainly from the North Sea.

Renewable energy

With a mean tidal range of 6.5 metres and a potential basin of 61km2 the Mersey Estuary has significant potential as a tidal energy resource. Its exposed coastline is a valuable resource for onshore wind energy – Seaforth Wind Farm on the Royal Seaforth Docks has been providing 3.6 megawatts of power for the national grid since 1999.

Energy and environmental technologies is one of the key business sectors of England’s Northwest and an agreed priority for Liverpool City Region. The Mersey Tidal Power project comes at a time when renewable technologies and secure energy supplies are high on the agenda.


Tourism is obviously important to the City Region. Its 135km (84miles) of coastline are a major asset and include areas of outstanding natural beauty and impressive built environments, from the iconic Liverpool City Centre waterfront skyline to Antony Gormley’s Another Place, which has attracted visitors from around the world.


    Major developments

    Estuary and waterfront projects with the potential for significant economic impact include:

    The Mersey Gateway – a proposed toll bridge between Runcorn and Widnes

    The development of the Port of Liverpool to accommodate much larger ‘post panamax’ vessels.

    The redevelopment of the disused areas of Liverpool and Birkenhead Docks. Wirral Waters and Liverpool Waters’ £10billion redevelopment of 320 hectares of redundant dockland will create 3.6million sq m of mixed commercial, retail and leisure development and 40,000 new homes.