The Council has appointed land remediation specialists to undertake the major regeneration scheme.
Plans to transform Barons Quay into a thriving retail and leisure quarter have moved a step closer with the launch of site investigations.
Cheshire West and Chester Council have appointed land remediation specialists Sanctus to undertake the work, which began last week.
The findings will form part of a planning application for the major regeneration scheme, which is being led by the council and the Weaver Valley Partnership Board.
Councillor Herbert Manley, Executive Member for Prosperity, said: “The investigations will concentrate on the area above the successfully filled bottom bed mines.
“This will help to inform the types of foundations needed for new buildings and whether there is any treatment required to the soil in the area due to past surface-level industrial activity.”
Weaver Valley Partnership Chairman Geoff Hope-Terry said: “This is another important step towards our goal of building on Northwich’s potential and turning it into a vibrant and thriving town.
“Barons Quay is a key part of our major regeneration programme and it’s wonderful to see the excellent progress that’s being made towards transforming this site.”
The planning application is expected to be submitted in the autumn. Subject to consent, site works and construction are expected to begin in 2014 with completion estimated in 2016.
Local Councillor Amy Mercer-Bailey said: “The site investigations are an important part of the development process and represent another step forward in the long-awaited regeneration of Barons Quay.”