West Lakes Renaissance is seeking a developer to build a 650-home village that would feature a 350-berth marina, a hotel, a sports ground and shops.
The URC said the proposal for the 18ha derelict site would play a key role in regenerating the former industrial port. It aims to meet the demands of yachtsmen travelling up the west coast.
Barrow Borough Council, the Northwest Regional Development Agency and English Partnerships are also working to bring the marina village forward.
URC development manager Peter Thompson said it would attract tourists. "It would be the only marina of its kind between north Wales and the Clyde," he noted. Developers have until the beginning of December to express an interest.