The new cultural centre and theatre will be built next to Zion Chapel in Llanelli town centre.
Work is set to start before the end of the year on a £14.6m cultural centre that will include a 500-seat theatre.
Funding has been secured for the project on derelict land next to Zion Chapel in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire.
It is called The Works, it is estimated it will create 35 jobs, and the Grade II listed chapel and neighbouring Old School will also be renovated.
It will occupy a site near a new cinema and retail development planned for the eastern gateway to the town.
It will be funded by the EU's European Regional Development Fund, Welsh Assembly Government, Carmarthenshire Council and other partners.
They say The Works will provide entertainment, arts, culture, employment and skills opportunities for people across the region.
The new complex will replace the existing Entertainment Centre on the other side of town.
That building dates back to 1938 and would need between £3m and £4m to refurbish it.
First Minister Carwyn Jones, who has toured the site with his deputy Ieuan Wyn Jones, said it was anticipated that when complete, The Works would attract more than 50,000 visitors and play a major role in community life.
"The Works will play a major role in the regeneration of Llanelli and the wider south west region, bringing new employment and training opportunities," he added.
As part of the scheme a multi-purpose 500-seat main auditorium, with a stage, orchestra pit and a flexible seating system will be constructed.
Trinity University College will occupy offices on the first floor for a project which will focus on creating opportunities for students.
It will also have wheelchair access in the tall fly-tower to allow disabled people the opportunity to be trained and gain employment as lighting and backstage technicians.
Carmarthenshire council leader Meryl Gravell said: "This development will hopefully be the catalyst for further investment that will provide much needed support for local businesses and local people.
"Further plans are in the pipeline and if these are also successful, we will see a major transformation of the town centre."
The partners said the aim was to be on site in October with a target to open in July 2012.