Liverpool is to get £82m of extra investment to bolster its celebrations as Capital of Culture in 2008.
The money will come from the European Union's (EU) fund for deprived areas.
About £65m will go on prominent developments along the city's waterfront, such as a new arena at the King's Dock and the proposed Fourth Grace building.
The cultural festival in 2008 will get £10m while £7.5m is earmarked for developing tourism in Merseyside.
Sara Wilde, of Mersey Waterfront Park, said the River Mersey and Irish Sea coastline were Liverpool's major assets.
She said: "It is what actually stands us apart from other cities within the UK
"We're not just talking about this fantastic iconic Liverpool waterfront, we're also talking about the splendid coastal areas we have in Wirral and in Sefton and the tremendously important port and maritime sector."
The money - which comes from the EU's Objective One fund - must be used in addition to other public funds and private investment.
Experts have predicted the overall financial benefit could total £200m.