A spectacular hotel is planned here as a centrepiece attraction in the first phase of a £4.5 billion redevelopment of Birkenhead's docklands.
Site owners Peel Holdings - the people behind Liverpool Airport and Manchester's Trafford Centre - have submitted a planning application for the refurbishment of The Hydraulic Pump House building.
The pumphouse is an historic but derelict listed building sited opposite the Twelve Quays roll-on roll-off ferry terminal.
Peel's scheme involves restoring the building back into sensitive repair together with the development of a new-build 92 bedroom upper mid-market hotel adjacent to the main building.
If approved, the £12 million plans would be the first phase of development on the Wirral Waters site since the announcement of Peel's visionary scheme in September 2006.
The company has been working closely with conservation officers, planners at Wirral Council and heritage partners to bring the Pump House back to its former glory.
Once complete, the listed building, which was bombed during the war, will also house a new restaurant and bar.
Richard Mawdsley, development manager at Peel, said: "The Hydraulic Tower is a very important architectural feature for the area but it has seen much better days.
"It is derelict and was structurally damaged when bombed during the war. However, having looked into the history of the building, it has a very interesting past - its design was actually a direct copy of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, a 12th century government building, so we actually have a little bit of Italy in Birkenhead!
"The building will be carefully restored by Peel and we intend to use it for a bar and restaurant with a new build 92 bedroom upper-mid market hotel adjacent, to create that critical mass needed.
"The scheme is one of a number of 'early win' Wirral Waters projects that will come forward for planning during 2008.
"A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes on Wirral Waters and we will be making more announcements in due course."
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.