A NEW maritime park will help fuel the revival of Liverpool?s waterfront thanks to almost ?2m of new funding.

The grant from the North West Development Agency (NWDA) means Canning Dock will be developed as a visitor attraction in its own right.

The neglected dock will be transformed for use by some of the 4,500 narrow boats expected to visit each year once the Leeds to Liverpool Canal extension opens.

Four pedestrian bridges and walkways will bring the current dry graving docks at the eastern end into life.

Liverpool Vision will oversee the change which is the second phase of Waterfront Connections, a project aimed at making the city waterfront a major visitor destination. The centrepiece of the project will be a series of interlinking walkways and bridges which will connect the Pier Head to the Albert Dock passing over Canning and Salthouse.

It will allow passengers from the new ferry terminal to take a landscaped and direct route to the Albert Dock and Kings Waterfront without having to use the Strand or waterfront path.

The leader of Liverpool City Council, Warren Bradley, said: ?This is another piece in the jigsaw to connect the north and south docks and bring Canning and Salthouse into use.

?People love walking across water and it?s a great scheme which is another example of how we are making the waterfront a world class destination.

?It?s important we keep refreshing the docks and bringing them back into use. Canning, Salthouse and Manchester Dock, where Liverpool One now stands, played an integral part in the city and they will again.?

British Waterways, one of the partner agencies, has already installed mooring facilities at Salthouse Dock and new showers and toilets will be built for sailors.

It is also hoped the graving docks may once again be used to moor and repair visiting boats.

The project will also see the long-awaited creation of a ?walk of fame? which will see 100 commemorative stones to famous Liverpudlians. Cited in the piazza outside the Echo Arena, Liverpool, the stones will immortalise city greats including Willy Russell, Sir John Moores, The Beatles and Bill Shankly.

The Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Steve Rotheram, suggested the idea based on Hollywood Boulevard?s ?Walk of Fame?.

He said: ?I hope tourists will visit and have their photographs taken next to the names and it?s a poignant reminder of those people who are no longer with us.?

Covering categories such as writing, artists, sport and champions the names were voted for in a public vote organised through the Daily Post?s sister paper, the Liverpool Echo.

Jim Gill, Liverpool Vision chief executive, said: ?The city waterfront has undergone an impressive transformation over the last five years.

?Attractions from Princes Dock to Kings Waterfront are already having a major impact on the city?s economy.

?This funding will encourage greater movement between these attractions, provide improved facilities and create a more enjoyable experience for local people and visitors.?

Phase One saw major improvements to signs and lighting at the Albert Dock in time for the Klimt exhibition and Tall Ships visit.

Jo Edge, director of the Albert Dock Company, said: ?Liverpool is one place that?s never going to stop, it?s constantly on the go and improving.

?We need to recognise what we have here, I don't know another city that has luxury liners docking as close to the city as here.?

The Albert Dock Company is one of the partners working alongside National Museums Liverpool, Kings Waterfront Estates, Liverpool Culture Company, Liverpool City Council and others.

Peter White, NWDA executive director of development, said:?We recognise the enormous potential of Liverpool?s waterfront as a major international visitor destination and we have invested substantially in a number of significant developments to maximise its contribution to the local and regional economy.

?This includes the new cruise liner facility, canal link, Museum of Liverpool and ACC Liverpool.

?Building on the achievements of phase one, this latest funding will help to maximise the impact of these and other attractions.?

For a full list of the 100 famous names, see Liverpool Daily Post - Liverpool news, Liverpool FC news, Everton FC news, business news and entertainment from the European Capital of Culture 2008