Grosvenor has poached Belfast city centre retail chief Joanne Jennings to lead its £950m Liverpool One retail-led regeneration scheme.

Jennings has been appointed as chief executive of the 2.4m sq ft (222,965 sq m) scheme which is due to open in 2008. She will lead the management team from June this year.

Last week Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster's private property company, announced a £140m loss on the Liverpool One project, significantly worse than the £90m figure Grosvenor suggested last year. The loss has been attributed to higher than expected construction costs and financial incentives paid to retailers.

‘I will be seeking to work fully with Liverpool council and the other key stakeholders to ensure that Liverpool One realises its potential to help regenerate this great city,’ said Jennings.

Grosvenor spokesman Mervyn Howard said: ‘Joanne comes with a reputation for getting things done and has managed to achieve a real cohesion between the private and public sectors in Belfast. This ability will be crucial in helping Liverpool achieve its potential.’