PRINCESS Anne has officially opened a state-of-the-art community hub for former seafarers in Wallasey today.

The Princess Royal was greeted by wellwishers on arrival at The Trinity House Hub on Mariners' Park estate this afternoon. She later met invited guests and was given a tour of the facilities.

The centre, which cost £4m, includes community facilities such as a cafe, spa, gym and rooms for meetings and hobbies, along with 18 fully-accessible apartments for older seafarers and their dependants.

It is operated by the Nautilus Welfare Fund - a registered charity administered by the maritime professionals’ union Nautilus International.

It is a further phase of an ongoing development programme at the 16-acre site, which began more than a decade ago with the building of a new care home and has included a wide range of new residential facilities.

The largest donor to the project was Trinity House, of which the Princess is the master.

Among the invited guests was Wirral's mayor and mayoress, Cllr Dave and Sue Mitchell and the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead. 

She was presented with a posy by Miss Sheena Shaw, who has been a resident since 1955 and recently moved to a new bungalow on the site.

Miss Shaw, 80, a former secretary to the dean at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, told the Globe: "It was a great honour to meet the princess again.

"I have met her before, she’s patron of the college."

On the new faciltiy, she continued: "It's absolutely excellent. It's facilities are something residents will reallty be able to enjoy."

Mark Dickinson, general secretary of Nautilis International said: “We have been planning this project for a number of years.

"It's amazing to be standing on the finished product."

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