The 230-acre former Biwater foundry in Clay Cross, Derbyshire - originally established by railway pioneer George Stephenson - has been acquired by Worcester-based investment and development company Maximus Securities.
It plans to redevelop the site to create employment and build new homes.
Some 110 acres of the complex, close to the centre of Clay Cross and four miles from Junction 29 of the M1, have been allocated for employment, mixed use and residential development.
Now Maximus, in conjunction with North East Derbyshire District Council, is preparing a design brief for the whole of the site.
Dick Hickton, of Maximus, said: "We have the opportunity to create an exciting and innovative scheme to accelerate the process of regeneration and job creation that is already well underway in the Clay Cross area.
"We will be working closely with the district council, English Partnership and the East Midland Development Agency which are currently spearheading the regeneration."
He added that Maximus hoped to lodge a planning application for its scheme this summer and then begin redevelopment as soon as possible.