WIRRAL Waters Enterprise Zone has been awarded a £5.5m Government boost to prepare the site so it is ready for investment and jobs.

It is one of 13 Enterprise Zones awarded funding by the "Local Infrastructure Fund".

The money allocated to Wirral's Tower Road South will be used to prepare the site for a mix of uses including a further education college linked to the offshore energy sector.

The cash awarded for Poulton Bridge Road and Beaufort Road will be used to improve roads on the approach to the planned International Trade Centre and to help prepare the zone for a housing development.

Wirral Council leader Cllr Phil Davies said: "This latest funding from Government is a huge boost for the Wirral Waters Enterprise Zone.

"A lot of work is required to prepare this largely derelict docklands area in readiness for the building of thousands of new homes and businesses.

"We are at the point now where the council in partnership with developers Peel is working extremely hard to ready the area for an influx of new investment which will deliver a very exciting future for the site and the people of Wirral.

"These infrastructure works are vital in helping us to attract new investment, businesses and jobs to the borough in the coming years."

Richard Mawdsley, projects director at Peel, said: "It’s a ringing endorsement by Government to what is a priority project in the region and a priority project for the people of this part of Wirral."

The latest awards are part of a collection of bids to Government currently being prepared which if successful will total more than £20m and "fast track" preparation work at Wirral Waters.

Multi-billion pound Wirral Waters was revealed to the public in September of 2006 after 18 months of design.

In August of 2010 Wirral's planning committee unanimously gave the £4.5billion masterplan the go-ahead. It was the UK's largest planning application.

But the proposed development was so big it had to be scrutinised by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

It cleared this final planning hurdle in November of 2010 when the local authority was told it would not be called in for a public inquiry.

Peel says Wirral Waters will create more than 20,000 new jobs and 14,000 new homes in the area around the derelict Birkenhead docklands.

In January 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron together with Lord Heseltine met with members of the council and were given a presentation of the project, followed by a tour of the site.

Planning permission was granted for an International Trade Centre within Wirral Waters the following September.

Wiral Waters has a timescale of 30 years to complete.