The Lark Rise for Candleford writer has adapted the classic French novel by Emile Zola after it was commissioned last year.
Sarah Lancashire (Lark Rise To Candleford), David Hayman (Trial And Retribution), Elaine Cassidy (Fingersmith), Matthew McNulty (Misfits), Joanna Vanderham (The Runaway) and Emun Elliott (Game Of Thrones) will star in the drama series.
The Paradise will be relocated to a British setting for the series, and follows the story of a love affair during the opening of the first department store, filmed on location in the North East of England.
Creator Bill Gallagher said: "I like writing long-run ensemble dramas because I can write for actors. Any writer would relish writing for this wonderful cast."
BBC North's Pat Connor added: "The Paradise is the biggest BBC drama to be made in the North East.
"BBC North is proud to support this production which underlines our commitment to making the very best programming here in the North for the entire UK."
Bill Gallagher has also worked on shows including Clocking Off, The Prisoner and Conviction.
Eight hour-long episodes will be screened on BBC One in 2013, with filming scheduled to begin in June.