Plans to build a new quayside at Newhaven Port were welcomed by MP Norman Baker and Locate East Sussex.
The new quay could handle a variety of cargo, create 150 jobs and even result in a new ferry terminal being built.
A planning application for the scheme will be submitted soon.
Mr Baker said: “This is more good news for Newhaven, and just the latest in a string of announcements bringing investment to the town.
“This proposal will help secure the long-term future of the port and has my full support.
“I continue to meet port representatives regularly to push for investment in Newhaven, as well as to remind the French owners of the strong desire of local people to see the West Beach reopened.
“It is clear that in recent times the tide has turned for Newhaven, with investment in the port, along West Quay and on Denton Island.
“But there is still much to do, including tackling the town centre, changing the ring road arrangements, and getting the West Beach reopened.”
Philip Johnson, director of Locate East Sussex, the county’s inward investment and commercial property service, said the proposal to develop the harbour is a boost for Newhaven’s future.
He added: “This is brilliant news for Newhaven, which is becoming an increasingly attractive place for businesses to locate.
“Developing the port will allow for increased traffic. This will bring huge economic benefits, importantly including the creation of jobs for local people.”