A community of 13,000 people in Bedfordshire could soon have a recognised town centre.
A government grant has enabled Central Bedfordshire Council to buy 2.5 acres (1 hectare) of land near the rail station in Flitwick.
The community has grown over the past 40 years because the station provided links to London and other large towns.
But, despite plans being drawn up decades ago, it has never had a recognised town centre.
The council has now exchanged contracts for the land so that a regeneration project can begin.
Tesco has a small shop near the station and the council understands the supermarket wants to extend this.
Several new town centre plans for Flitwick have been discussed in the past and progress on the latest has been delayed by the property market downturn.
The council's portfolio holder for assets, Steve Male, said: "Flitwick has never had a proper town centre for its size.
"We are making this purchase so we can gain much more influence in the delivery of an appropriate town centre."
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