Chancellor George Osborne has announced a £35m government grant towards the proposed £300m Liverpool2 port scheme.
The finance will go towards funding the dredging of the Mersey Estuary in order to facilitate larger ships being able to dock at Port Seaforth.
The project, which received a £150m windfall from European Investment Bank last year, is expected to create up to 5,000 new jobs when it reaches completion by 2015.
Mr Osborne, who announced the plans at the Port of Liverpool earlier today, said: “This project is good news for Merseyside and the North West but also important to the UK as a whole.
“As well as creating 5,000 jobs, upgrading Merseyside’s maritime infrastructure demonstrates this country is open for business, and ready to compete in the global race.
“The government is making sure we prioritise this kind of long-term investment in the infrastructure of our country.”
The grant has been awarded to the harbour authority for the Port of Liverpool – Mersey Docks and Harbour Company – as well as Birkenhead Docks, which is owned by parent company Peel.
Mark Whitworth, chief executive of Peel Ports Group, said: “This is exactly the kind of public sector investment the country needs because it will drive growth in the UK’s private sector by improving infrastructure.
“The grant will critically support the region’s maritime economy, and it will help Peel Ports expand the Port of Liverpool with our new £300m container terminal Liverpool2.”
The news represents a further boost towards Liverpool and its hope of regaining its status as UK manufacturing hub.
Last month the ‘Making It’ campaign, aimed at achieving this, was launched in the city.