Huge investment of almost £400 million is being pumped into revitalising high streets across the Black Country and Staffordshire, it has been revealed.
High street chains Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Primark are vying for places in new-look centres across the region while restaurateurs such as Pizza Express, Nandos and Prezzo compete for prime positions in developments.
Council chiefs have put together multi-million pound visions of a vibrant future mixing shopping with bars and eateries.
The bright outlook comes despite continuing tough conditions for shops. High inflation and stagnant wage levels have combined to hit the high street amid the ongoing recession.
However, already signed up for a £200m New Square scheme in West Bromwich are Primark, Next, Arcadia, JD Sports, Bank, Nandos and Prezzo.
And in Wolverhampton, Debenhams, H&M, Pizza Express and Ask will be approached by council chiefs and some £13.4m is to be injected into the area left blighted by the failed Summer Row project. The Mander and Wulfrun centres will also get an overhaul.
A £30m learning quarter is central to Dudley's regeneration while Stourbridge's Crown Centre hopes to win big names when it reopens after a £50m rebuild. Walsall's Old Square is having a £30m revamp bringing in Primark and Co-op.
M&S, Debenhams and Next are expected to anchor a shopping complex in Cannock town centre.