Contractors are vying for the job of overseeing a £750m mixed–use scheme in Liverpool, which is due for completion before it becomes the European Capital of Culture in 2008.
Sir Robert McAlpine, Laing O'Rourke and Carillion are understood to be among the firms competing to become construction advisers to developer Grosvenor.

The construction cost of the scheme, which has been masterplanned by Building Design Partnership, is expected to be £400m.

A source at one of the bidders said the firm that won the contract could find it was then asked to become the main contractor. Site work is expected to start next year.

The project, in partnership with Liverpool council, is on a 17 ha site called the Paradise Street development area. It will include 148,000 m2 of retail space, 21,500 m2 of leisure space and 364 houses and flats.