Barnsley Council has instructed its partners involved in the £100m redevelopment of the town centre to seek out funding from financial institutions in this country and abroad.
The search is now on amongst international funding institutions ranging from pension funds to banks to get the investment needed to allow work to finally start on the long-awaited Barnsley Markets Project.
The man leading that hunt, Tony Baker, director of the 1249 Regeneration Partnership, said: "We are still in the early stages, but I have to say the response has been very positive indeed.
"This scheme is exactly what Barnsley needs and I am confident it will be developed."
The Chronicle understands that a significant number of businesses are close to signing agreements to become tenants in new shop units.
Council leader Steve Houghton says despite the international economic gloom and doom he is optimistic the funding will be found and the scheme to regenerate almost a quarter of the town centre will, after years of delays, finally go ahead.
"I am not saying we will get 100 per cent of the funding and investment we are looking for and obviously whatever investment packages we are offered will have to be carefully considered," he said.
"But I am convinced the scheme will go ahead because of the quality of the development, because of the number of businesses already signed up to take units and because all the facts show this redevelopment will attract a lot of customers.
"It is a scheme that will work, that will be sustainable and that will transform the number of visitors to the town."
Coun Houghton says currently 60 per cent of the disposable income of Barnsley people is spent outside the borough.
"If only half of that came back into Barnsley that would be a huge increase in the number of shoppers and the amount they were all spending," he said.
The revised Marketplace Barnsley will create a new central retail core for the town anchored by Debenhams department store, an Odeon seven-screen cinema, 35 retail and leisure units as well as ample car parking for shoppers.
There will also be a new market hall to house the renowned indoor market.