Ribble Valley council and Lancashire County Developments, part of the county council, are inviting tenders from masterplan architects and planners to design a vision for a new retail core of Clitheroe town centre.
The brief states: "The purpose of the study is to provide a clear development strategy and implementation plan to enable partners to support the promotion and revitalisation of the town centre, helping it to fulfil its potential as an attractive, vibrant and successful town centre."
Options include creating a new marketplace and introducing larger shops more suited to modern retailers.
Ongoing retail projects elsewhere in Lancashire, such as Grosvenor/Lend Lease's Tithebarn in Preston and Maple Grove's Cathedral Quarter in Blackburn will threaten to pull shoppers out of Clitheroe in years to come without investment in its own town centre.
The closing date for tenders is 8 April.