Cornwall Council has submitted an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £9.8 million towards the cost of a new Cornish archive centre to be built in Redruth.
The facility, which has a working title of "Kresen Kernow – a new home for the stories of Cornwall", is to be built on the former Redruth brewery site.
When completed, it will improve access to a vast array of resources that reflect Cornwall's long, rich and vibrant heritage and its international impact.
It will also create an exhibition space to host Cornish manuscripts, which are currently held all over the country.
The project will also create a new gateway into the town and could boost the economy by as much as £1.7 million.
Cornwall Council cabinet member for culture Joan Symons said: "Our submission, which includes the fact that Redruth is already home to a number of cultural hubs, and takes into account the potential to open up and regenerate the currently derelict brewery site, will bolster Cornwall's bid for support from the Heritage Lottery Fund at the highly competitive 'national' level for grants above £5million.
"The bid we have submitted will be supplemented by a visit from representatives from the HLF Trustees and officers in spring 2013 to see the site and hear about our ambitions for the project.
"We hope that everyone will help to make their visit a success and show that the whole of Cornwall is behind the bid."
HLT trustees will visit all the projects which have made an application before meeting to assess them in April 2013.
If successful at this stage, there will be an 18 month project development period to consult researchers, staff, volunteers and potential new audiences on the building design, services and Cornwall-wide activity programme.
Mrs Symons adds: "This project is a priority in the council's culture white paper and will transform access to the extensive historic resources currently held across a number of sites.
"It will also offer a bespoke, modern facility which will enable new relationships with partners to provide greater public access to the key Cornish manuscripts held in the collections of those institutions across Britain and beyond.
"It will also ensure that the council meets its statutory responsibilities to care for its archives appropriately and fulfils legal requirements with regard to access to information."