INTERNATIONAL interest has been shown in Wirral's multimillion pound golf resort plans for land close to the famous Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
Wirral council used the spotlight on the Ricoh Women's British Open at Hoylake to re-launch ambitious proposals to make Wirral a key golfing destination.
At a presentation, council bosses outlined plans for a new "signature" golf course, five star hotel and spa, and conference facilities on the 300 acre site in Hoylake.
Around half of that land is already in council ownership.
Chief executive Graham Burgess said the aim was for Wirral to "capitalise on the fantastic assets we have".
He said: "Even before this launch we have had four or five serious inquiries from world-recognised organisations."
These are understood to include "internationally renowned golfers and hotels" who the council is now asking to work together to come up with viable proposals.
Mr Burgess revealed the project could be worth £30m-£40m a year for the local economy.
Wirral's director of regeneration Kevin Adderley said the intention is to find new development partners and the cost of the scheme could range from £40m-£70m, but is "only limited by the successful bidder's aspirations".
Since the first masterplan for the golf resort was drawn up more than six years ago, Wirral council has been working with consultants Capita Symonds looking at the landscape of the area, along with potential access to the site and possible funding for the scheme, and paving the way for planning permission, which would have to be sought by any developer.
The authority is now asking those interested in the scheme to put forward their expressions of interest by the end of October with formal tendering to take place subsequently.
Cllr Ann McLachlan, deputy leader of Wirral Council, said: "Tourism plays a major part in Wirral's economy and it is growing. This growth has been aided by an improvement in the quality of our tourism businesses and we believe the time is now right to speak to developers who would be interested in taking our tourism offer to another level, with the development of a golf resort.”
"Wirral offers a unique experience of English golf at its historic best and we believe golf tourism in Wirral can have an even more exciting future."