Around 1,000 new jobs will be created if Rotherham United gets the all-clear to build a hotel and offices on land alongside New York Stadium.
But Millers chairman Tony Stewart who masterminded and largely funded the club’s new stadium says the deal has to be done soon or the potential investor may pull out.
The multi-million pound project is dependent on the club and the Borough Council finding agreement with English Heritage over the future of the Grade 2 listed building of the old Guest and Chrimes works.
“We have had architects looking at the site for two years and developers have told us it will take £5million before we start because of the listed status, depending on how much of it is preserved.
“English Heritage started by saying they wanted to keep all of the building but we are negotiating with them.
“I would like to keep most of the building but it might not be possible. It’s a matter of us getting together with the council and English Heritage and talking it through. We have a meeting planned in the next couple of weeks when I hope we can do exactly that.
“I know English Heritage are reasonable people so I’m hoping we can reach an agreement. The driving force is that I want to be able to build something we can all be proud of in Rotherham.
“I think the new stadium and back to back promotions has lifted the town and given us a mini-Olympic glow.
“We’ve got the feel good factor back around the football club and I want to get it back into the town. Up to 1,000 jobs will help that but we only have a 16-month window or the investor will pull out and go elsewhere.
Stewart is also calling on the council to come up with a vision for new look town by 2020.
“I think the council needs to get the town together and say this is where we are going and we need everyone to help it to happen. They need a 2020 vision.
“We need some artist’s impressions of a Rotherham of the future and some dates setting out as to when we are going to get there and then start trying to pull the investment in.
“I think it’s vital that we set some visible targets and the people of Rotherham know where we want get to and what type of town we are hoping to create.”