Richard Rogers may also be in running to design 'fourth grace' mixed-use scheme for key Merseyside location.
Star architects Ken Yeang and Will Alsop are both in consortiums that have pitched for the chance to design a building destined to feature in the opening credits of countless Liverpudlian soap operas.

The £80m mixed-use scheme is located at the Pier Head site, which is directly south of the the Port of Liverpool, Cunard and Royal Liver buildings – collectively known as the "three graces".

Liverpool Vision, the urban regeneration company that is the client for the scheme, declined to confirm which teams were bidding. However, developers in the running are believed to include Urban Catalyst, Urban Splash and Countryside Properties.

Yeang has teamed up with UK architect Mason Richards Partnership.

Alistair MacDonald, Liverpool Vision's development manager, said: "By the end of May, we should have decided who passed the test."

The deadline for submissions of interest in the scheme was 12 noon on Tuesday. It is understood that Richard Rogers Partnership is among those practices that have done so.

Liverpool Vision has called for business, leisure, housing and cultural uses to be designed into the 2.5 ha site, but has allowed architects to decide for themselves how to go about it.

The European Union Official Journal notice inviting tenders for the project said Liverpool Vision had "no prescriptive requirements as to the form the development should take, although it will expect schemes to reflect high quality architectural design consistent with the surroundings".

One potential bidder said: "It is a very exciting site. It's about time Liverpool had something like this on the Mersey."

A project observer said that the deliberate vagueness of the brief meant that the scheme could be worth anything up to £100m, although £70-80m is thought to be a more realistic figure.

Liverpool Vision held an open day for interested parties at the end of last month.

About 130 architects, consultants and developers attended.

The site currently incorporates a car park and a car dealership, which will relocate.