Barnsley will be catapulted 64 places up the UK's town and city centre rankings once the £125m Marketplace Barnsley is completed, according to a new report.
The analysis by retail research company CACI gives an indication of how the town could finally break free of many of the negative prejudices and stereotypes surrounding it.
The scheme, due to be completed in 2015, will transform the town by creating a new retail core.
Among the key features will be a Debenhams, a seven screen Odeon, 850 parking spaces, 35 shops and several restaurants including, the Chronicle can reveal, a Nando's - the chicken eatery.
The flagship development, situated near Kendray Street, is a joint venture between Ashcroft Estates, Wilson Bowden and Guildhouse Group.
Tony Baker, director of 1249 Regeneration Partnership, a company set up by the council to oversee the development, said: ''People have very preconceived ideas of Barnsley.
''There are pockets of low income areas but equally there are some very affluent ones."
For the full interview see today's town edition.