The North West Development Agency is to fund a feasibility study into a new pier at New Brighton.
Wirral Council is commissioning the study to find out whether, almost three decades after it was dismantled, Wirral pier could be rebuilt. If so, it would be the first new pier in the UK for 50 years.
The £210,000 study would focus primarily on the waterfront area of Victoria Road, alongside the position of the old pier, on council-owned land, although other possible sites would also be examined.
It would be carried out in two parts, with flood risk, ecological impact and planning factors being assessed by engineers.
News of the planned study emerged after a special report on the idea of a pier, by deputy chief executive of the council Jim Wilkie was added late to a Wirral Council's cabinet meeting.
The proposed new pier is the latest in a long line of plans proposed for the seaside town, which is to be revitalised after having a major two-part redevelopment scheme approved
A new pier could also see ferry trips between Liverpool and New Brighton being reinstated.
Neptune, which is the council's preferred developer for the resort, had included a new pier in its original plans, but decided to defer its inclusion once it realised a feasibility study was vital.
An NWDA spokeswoman said: "The Agency has agreed in principle to fund a feasibility study into the economic viability of a new pier and a landing stage for the area.
"This is subject to the submission of a formal bid and a full appraisal of the scheme."