The new-look £35 million West Midland Business Link advisory service will take shape in the next two weeks.

Decisions over who will provide the different strands of the service will be taken by the end of the month.

As part of the drive to create a more accessible and efficient Business Link, regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM) has been assessing bids from organisations looking to take on the contracts from April 2007.

The AWM board will make the final decision on which bidders will run call centre and specialist advice services for sectors such as manufacturing.

AWM claims the new service will provide "consistent, high quality, tailored support which will be available to all businesses region-wide".

Particular emphasis will be placed on business and professional services, crea tive and knowledge industries and new enter-prise creation.

The new organisation will also focus on the specific requirements of women, young people, ethnic minorities and social enterprises.

The bidding process began in December last year and a shortlist of seven potential providers has been produced.

Although the identity of the bidders is still commercially confidential, their names will be released on April 26.

Dr Richard Hutchins, AWM's corporate director for economic development, said: "We know from businesses that they want consistent, high-quality and tailored support available to them wherever they are in the region.

"Many businesses have no idea what is on offer in terms of support and have no relationship with the complex pattern of business support agencies available to them.

"This is something we vitally need to address if we are to overcome the enterprise challenge in our region.

"The new model will help us to achieve this and we are heartened that the business community welcomes our proposals.

"We are working to make sure our regions businesses get the very best support on offer and we are confident the bidders we take forward to negotiation will help us to provide a world-class service for the region.

"However, in the meantime it is business as usual and users of the existing Business Link service can be assured that the quality of support they get up until the time of the new providers taking over will not decrease."