A £6 million project for a cable car to take visitors to the top of the Malvern Hills could be a "silver bullet " to galvanise the local economy.

The ambitious project has just been unveiled by High Street Malvern, which was set up in 2007 to revitalise the town centre.

The report envisages a cable-car linking the town centre with a site near the top of the Worcester Beacon, possibly wit6h a visitor centre at the start point and toilets and refreshment provision at the Beacon end.

The group says it would be a much-needed major visitor attraction. "The district council makes considerable effort to promote Malvern, but it lacks any 'silver bullet' to galvanise the local economy," says the report.

The report says that although a million people a year visit the Hills, few visit the town, which it describes as "ailing", where "shops and businesses struggle to survive".

A cable car would bring in more visitors, whose spending would boost businesses, and could provide income for Malvern Hills Conservators.

Anticipating criticism that the Conservators do not allow encroachment on the Hills, the report says that "public and legal opinion has changed... and much more importance is now attached both to general public access to the countryside and also to disabled access.

"It is considered that the installation of any transport system would not infringe the legislation and a decision to proceed could be justified," but the report adds that "cecause of the strict provisions of the Conservators’ Acts and the fact that the Hills are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, any installation would have to be carried out in a sensitive way".

The report was compiled with the help of a company which successfully operates a cable-car system at the tourist town of Matlock Baths in Derbyshire.

Dan Wild of High Street Malvern said: "There are many conditions to be met before for the project to become viable. Public opinion would then have to be gained and transformed into political will.

"There are many unknowns and it is hoped that the publication of the draft proposal will stimulate debate and fill in the missing pieces."