Cultural capital of Europe 2008 set to attract £2bn investment, sparking plans for a theatre at Fourth Grace
Key schemes under development in Liverpool, including the Fourth Grace cultural and residential project, could receive extra investment now the city has been made European Capital of Culture for 2008.

Architect Will Alsop this week confirmed that he would consider adding a small theatre to the Fourth Grace if it was offered financial backing. The city's Capital of Culture status is expected to generate an extra £2bn of investment.

Alsop said: "Although the financial framework for the Fourth Grace has been carefully calculated in advance, if someone were to call and offer to invest in a small theatre for the project, that would be wonderful."

The Fourth Grace will be built on the Pier Head site in Liverpool, south of the Port of Liverpool and the Cunard and Royal Liver buildings, a trio known as the Three Graces.

Alsop's £100m scheme is made up of three structures – a 500-seat auditorium, an exhibition park containing memorabilia of Liverpool's history and an 18-storey residential building above three storeys of workspace.

Liverpool Vision this week issued a tender for contractors to pitch to build the scheme. A planning application is due to be submitted next year.

Alsop said: "I don't really foresee any other changes with the scheme because we had the Capital of Culture competition very much in mind during the design stage."

The Fourth Grace project was commissioned last year by urban regeneration company Liverpool Vision. Responding to the competition win, Liverpool Vision chief executive Jim Gill said: "Winning capital of culture is a brilliant result for the city. It will provide a further boost to the residential and leisure markets, which have been leading regeneration of the city centre."

The chief executive of architectural watchdog CABE, Jon Rouse, said: "This is a win for architecture, which has been a central component to the success of the city's bid."

Other projects set to receive a boost from Liverpool's victory in the Capital of Culture contest include two museums – the Museum of Comedy and the Museum of Liverpool – and a multimillion-pound programme of public squares, open spaces and water features.

Liverpool beat five other UK cities – Birmingham, Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, Bristol and Oxford to win the title.