Nineteen bids have been received for two sites in Macclesfield town centre earmarked for a cinema-led leisure scheme commissioned by Cheshire East Council.
The development is designed to increase the town’s leisure offer and boost footfall to support existing businesses.
The potential sites brought to market in the summer are the Duke Street car park and the Churchill Way car park, both controlled largely by the council.
Cllr Michael Jones, leader of the council, said: “This is fantastic news for Macclesfield. This phenomenal level of interest from developers has come about because we have done a great job marketing the town centre and the £1m we are putting into improving the town centre.
“We have made the development industry very confident that Cheshire East is a place people can do business.”
All the submitted proposals include a cinema and all would see work starting, subject to planning approval, in 2016.
Former Magnus boss Nick Hynes is advising the council on the development process. He said: “I was confident that there would be a keen interest from developers but to get 19 serious and substantial proposals submitted is even better than we had hoped.
“There is growing confidence in the town – and rightly so. Now we need to continue to work in partnership with the Council to ensure there is no let up in the momentum, that local stakeholders can share their views and that we get a scheme that is right for the people of Macclesfield.”
The council declined to give details of the next stage of the development contest.
Agents Sanderson Weatherall and BNP Paribas Real Estate are marketing the sites on behalf of the council.