Two hundred and eighty jobs are set to be created by the long-awaited redevelopment of West Point in St Helens town centre.
Supermarket giant Aldi are set to open up a flagship store on the site of the old St Thomas Square flats as part of a development which is also expected to include a bowling alley, cafe and restaurants.
Work is set to start this month.
The scheme will also see 230 parking spaces created along with a new puffin crossing near the Linkway West roundabout.
Council leader Barrie Grunewald said: “This scheme represents a positive step forward after many false dawns on the site. This development will now become a reality with quality investment in the town on a site that has been left derelict for a very significant period of time.
“The proposed bowling alley, cafe and restaurants supplement existing uses in the locality and in particular compliment the cinema on the opposite side of Linkway West.”
Orbit Developments, part of The Emerson Group, has entered into a development agreement with St Helens Council to redevelop the site - which will significantly enhance the retail and leisure offer in St Helens.
Coun Grunewald added: “Orbit Developments, in conjunction with the council, have worked hard to bring this development to life and I am delighted that work will commence on the site in February.”
Paul Hubball, senior development manager for Orbit Developments, said: “It has been a pleasure working with such a pro-active and forward thinking council where private sector investment is welcomed as a key driver for redevelopment.
“This scheme has stalled on a number of occasions but with a patient and realistic approach we have now made a significant step forward in making the delivery of the project a reality.”
Orbit have entered into an agreement for lease with Aldi for the food store element of the scheme and are in detailed discussions with a bowling operator.