Hopes have been raised that a £10m redevelopment of Accrington’s Arndale could finally go ahead after its owners put the shopping centre up for sale.
UBS Wealth Management, which owns the Arndale Centre, is seeking offers of around £17m for the shopping complex.
It will be the seventh time the centre has been sold in 15 years.
The Swiss bank bought the centre in 2005 for £37.5m and could be facing a £20m loss on their investment.
Council leaders hope any new owners will be interested in furthering the regeneration of the town centre.
Hyndburn Council leader Miles Parkinson said: "We would prefer that the new owner is someone with a long term plan for the Arndale Centre and Accrington centre, and someone who is willing to wait and see it through once economic conditions improve."
The 139,000sqft centre has 47 units.
At the height of the recession, 12 of the units were unoccupied but the figures have improved in recent months, with the centre now nearly at full occupancy.
Last November, UBS Wealth Management unveiled a £10m expansion plan in a bid to attract new retailers to the town centre.
They included provisions for a new car park and 90,000sqft of ground and first floor retail and restaurant units space.
The plans have yet to be implemented but it is hoped any new owners would look into the scheme again.
A property brochure issued by UBS Wealth claims the Arndale Centre had more than four million visitors last year.
Coun Parkinson said: "What the shopping public want is renewal of the shopping centre from time to time. It is a good property and I would hope any new owner would want to meet the needs of shoppers."
Conservative group leader Peter Britcliffe said: "Let’s hope whoever buys the centre is someone that has ambitions for the centre and Accrington town centre."
The centre currently produces a total gross rent of £1,947,368 a year according to the brochure.
Protego Real Estate Investors manages the property on behalf of UBS.
Darren Hutchinson, UK investment director, said: "We’ve worked hard over the last few years to successfully increase occupancy, introduce new retailers to the town and conceive the idea to extend the centre, all against a tough economic background.
"We have now reached a point where we feel it is time for someone else to use these foundations to take the centre further forward and ideally progress the development to the side to further enhance the town centre."