THE go-ahead for construction of the first building at Wirral Waters – a new Wirral Met campus – could be a catalyst for huge growth according to Wirral Council leader Phil Davies.

The multi-billion pound Wirral Waters venture, masterminded by developers Peel, is aimed at transforming Wirral docklands into a world-class waterfront project forming part of a revived and vibrant city region.

It brings the prospect of creating more than 20,000 new jobs over the next two to three decades.

The Wirral Met development will be a specialist Built Environment, Skills and Enterprise Centre. Its courses will be geared towards the workforce needs of Wirral Waters and the wider economy including renewable energy and construction sectors.

Cllr Davies said: “This is an extremely important and positive development.

“Wirral Waters can be the catalyst for huge growth in the construction and advanced manufacturing sectors, not just in the region but across the entire north of England.”

He went on: “It is absolutely fitting that the first building on the Wirral Waters site will be the one that is used to create the skills which will ensure the rest of the development fulfils all of our hopes and expectations.”

Peel’s project manager Richard Mawdsley said: “The new college is all about putting skills and training at the centre of Wirral Waters. Wirral Met will be training young adults with relevant skills aligned to local industries. “Since we received planning permission for Wirral Waters back in May 2012 we’ve been focussed on site preparation, remediation and infrastructure – all of which take time.”

Preparation of the Wirral Waters site has been made possible by a £2.5m repayable loan from the Homes and Communities Agency to Peel.

The campus will be developed in partnership between Wirral Met with Peel with funding from the Skills Funding Agency, the College and Peel.

College principal Sue Higginson said: “We are targeting to have the building completed for students in September 2015.

“We have worked very closely with Peel’s design team – who established the detailed needs of the college early in the process.

“We are delighted with the end result – a building that is, in essence, an ‘essay in construction.’