The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded Knowsley Council funds to renovate historic buildings.
The project will see the repair and restoration of Prescot's traditional shopping district to help find new uses for vacant or underused premises.
The works will include the replacement of dilapidated, or inappropriate modern shop fronts with a more traditional design to reinstate the original look of the high street.
The majority of the works will be focused around Market Place and Eccleston Street to improve links between the modern retail park and traditional town centre.
The project will include a variety of educational work and community events, such as a training programme to give people a foothold on a career in conservation construction and restoration, as well as providing recognised qualifications.
Cllr Dave Lonergan, cabinet member for regeneration, economy and skills at Knowsley, said: "This funding will help provide a more attractive and vibrant town centre with historic buildings revived and empty premises brought back to use."
Sara Hilton, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: "HLF investment goes well beyond the bricks and mortar of a building. THI schemes can really help turn around local economies, not only by improving how the look and feel of our towns and high streets, but by prompting business start-ups and creating new jobs and training opportunities."
The five-year programme is due to commence in spring 2013.