Liverpool City Council is preparing to launch a strategic acquisitions fund to help acquire key land and property in the city.
Within a council document, it said the aim of the fund "should be to protect future development and to create opportunities to bring forward new schemes once the economy improves".
The report added: "Land and property is being marketed or subject to auction, and although they may be acquired by developers with credibility and cash-flow, there is a significant risk that speculators who are cash rich will acquire properties to land bank for future returns which could result in ransom or frustration for wider regeneration."
The report said the new fund will be managed by the council's regeneration directorate using existing resources and the council or its agents will manage the portfolio of assets "prior to their redevelopment and/or disposal".
In the first instance, the report said the strategic acquisition fund will target the council's and St Modwen's Project Jennifer scheme, a development in Great Homer Street in north Liverpool.
In this case, the report said the fund will support the need for site acquisitions, essential to enable the scheme to progress as swiftly as possible.
The fund will comprise £4m for 2011/2012 and up to £4m a year for the following two years.
Liverpool City Council said final proposals for the strategic acquisitions fund are being prepared for approval prior to the council's cabinet meeting on Friday 18 March.