The proposed i360 observation tower in Brighton could be offered a financial lifeline.
A bid for £3 million funding has been submitted to a regional development fund by Brighton and Hove City Council.
And the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has shortlisted the application for funding the new attraction which would create 180 jobs, council leader Bill Randall said.
The LEP set up the fund for “shovel ready” projects which had been given planning permission but had stalled since the credit crunch hit bank lending.
If the bid is successful the council will lend money to the i360 to kickstart building work.
Councillor Randall said: “The council would see a financial benefit if this goes ahead.
“This would create about 180 jobs. It’s also in an area of the city that does need regeneration.
“Preston Street is nothing like it used to be and that whole area could do with a lift. It’s seen better times.”
All the associated funding deals would have to be signed off within nine months with construction likely to start within a year.
News of the application was set out at a council cabinet member meeting held to discuss planning, employment, economy and regeneration.
Marks Barfield, the architects, and the West Pier Trust are behind the plans for the i360.