A £2.2m grant from the North West Development Agency paid for demolition of a derelict mill in Rochdale to make way for landscape work by charity Groundwork.
The Grove Mill on Oldham Road was demolished as part of the Brighter Futures proposal for the area of inner Rochdale, put forward by Rochdale Development Agency, the Oldham Rochdale Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder and Rochdale council.
The 15-year scheme will eventually involve attracting a private sector development partner to help provide new housing and commercial premises.
Further buildings have been acquired and are due to demolished as part of the programme.
Duncan Cooper, project officer of Rochdale Development Agency, said: "We are looking at areas along the Oldham Road corridor and canal that we can improve ahead of creating detailed development plans for the area. The Brighter Futures proposals will take a number of years to bring to fruition, however we think it is important that we carry out work wherever possible to make the area more attractive and to prime it for future development."