PRINCE Charles re-opened the Florence Institute and championed Merseyside industry during a visit to the region today.
The Prince of Wales also enjoyed an unscheduled stop-off in a local pub for a drink of Guinness, as he clearly enjoyed himself during his stay in Liverpool.
The Florrie's official re-opening marked the end of a long refurbishment project and the chairman of the Florence Institute, Denise Bernard, said it was a memorable day.
She added: “I took Prince Charles around the Florrie on St George’s Day six years ago when this place was a wreck. I’m ecstatic that he’s come back for the reopening. This tops the lot. He’s maintained his interest in the restoration over the last six years."
Clearly enjoying his visit, the Prince earlier received thunderous applause at the Florrie when he unveiled the plaque to commemorate his visit and the reopening.
Speaking to the audience of local people and civic dignitaries packed into the Florrie’s main hall, he said: "Imagine how thrilled I am to see this building fully restored. It’s entirely down to so many people’s unbelievably dedicated efforts.
“I know how complicated and frustrating it can be to put together funding and tick all the boxes for a project like this. I know it’s taken a year off Denise’s life!
“I want to congratulate all those who brought back this building and also the many who love this building and made it a big part of the community.
“The fact it’s to be used by so many groups is something to be celebrated. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to unveil this plaque.”
Young dancers from The Works Academy performed for the Prince and he was delighted when one presented him with a baby-grow printed with the words “Grandad’s little workie”.
Earlier, Prince Charles had toured the production line at Jaguar Land Rover in Halewood, as well as meeting local schoolchildren at the manufacturer's education centre.