Town planners say they are putting the needs of residents at the heart of Ellesmere Port's regeneration.
Anthony Benson, director at consultants Allies and Morrison, gave Ellesmere Port councillors an update on the work being done to produce a masterplan for the town's regeneration at a meeting on Monday night.
He told Cheshire West and Chester Council's district advisory panel that 48 per cent of residents in the Ellesmere Port Town ward live with an income of less than £20,000, and their needs be must be kept in mind.
"We want to be aspirational but we also need to make sure that any changes meet the needs of the people that the town centre serves," Mr Benson said.
"Most people who will use the town centre are not affluent people so it is important that the town meets the day-to-day needs of residents better than it does now."
Allies and Morrison is working alongside transport consultants Mott MacDonald and property experts Colliers on ambitious plans to overhaul the town centre.
Key aspects of the regeneration plan include the building of a shared hub for public sector services, which Mr Benson believes will help to unlock other sites in the town for redevelopment.
The hub had been earmarked for Civic Way, but officers told the panel that it could be built elsewhere in Ellesmere Port if a cheaper location could be found.
Other areas for redevelopment include the bus station, the Port Arcades and the former Knot site, while Mr Benson suggested Ellesmere Port's market and housing growth are both key to the town's future viability.
He also emphasised that it would be important to 'rationalise' the retail offering in the town centre to prevent it from being blighted by empty shops.
Cllr Rob Bisset, Labour member for St Paul's, said: "This really does show that the town centre is in the headlights.
"We are determined to do the best for Ellesmere Port and it looks like we are on our way."
Cllr Myles Hogg, Conservative member for Willaston and Thornton, added: "In the years I have been here the night-time economy has died in the town centre.
"So I am hoping this study will give us some ideas on how that could be revitalised."
Further consultation with stakeholders and members of the public will take place later this year, before CWAC's cabinet is expected to approve the final masterplan in November.