Traders are on the brink of victory in their long-running battle to keep Birmingham’s wholesale markets in the city centre.
Stallholders fighting to retain their current base want to work with a developer to turn their 21-acre Pershore Street site into a food hub containing a smaller market.
They presented their idea to a city council scrutiny committee – and a report said officials found it an "attractive proposition".
Now councillors have agreed to give the traders more time to flesh out their proposals before meeting again to discuss them in the New Year.
Stallholders said they were delighted with the news.
They were originally given notice to quit the site next year after the land was earmarked for redevelopment, sparking a campaign locally.
Mark Tate, a spokesman for the wholesale markets traders, said: "We’re not counting our chickens yet, but there is a light at the tunnel and if there is, it will be a massive victory for us.
"Now we’ve got this time extension, it gives the developer a decent amount of time to show that it’s a viable proposal.
"We’re pleased because for the first time we are all heading in the same direction. We have brought major players to the table and have worked really hard on this."
A council document said: "Members believed the concept of a new wholesale market linked to a food hub based on the present site was an attractive proposition which could provide a regenerative boost for the surrounding area." Panel chairman Coun Carl Rice said it was only fair to give the traders more time to work on their proposal as their decision would have "such far reaching implications for both the city and the wider region".
"The committee understood the historic importance of markets to Birmingham and were impressed with the traders’ determination to revitalise the wholesale market," he said.
"I hope that, over the next few months, the council, the traders and their development partner can design a scheme."