Advantage West Midlands' latest shake-up of the Business Link advisory service is set to cost the taxpayer approaching £1 million.
It was announced earlier this week that companies behind the delivery of Business Link West Midlands were in discussions about a potential merger.
The move - revealed by The Birmingham Post several weeks ago - follows a deeply troubled first year of operation.
The proposal will see Gateway and Brokerage come together to form one business entity, albeit nothing much is set to change on the ground.
The Gateway refers calls to the Brokerage for action, and, it is understood, this will remain the case.
The new centralised structure imposed by AWM has been going less than a year, only being introduced last April.
The Gateway contract was originally won by the Black Country Chamber while the Brokerage went to a consortium of five West Midlands chambers.
One source close to the chamber movement yesterday claimed it was costing £1.2 million to get out of the contracts.
"From a chamber point of view it is great, but as a taxpayer I am less than happy," said the source.
However an AWM spokesman denied it was anything like that much.
He would not put a figure on it, albeit others suggested something more like £800,000.
That, it is believed, takes in two financial segments - repayment of the investment the chambers put in to launch the Business Link structure and what they would have earned over the next financial year had present arrangements continued.
AWM denies it is footing the bill. The Birmingham Post understands the money is coming out of the Business Link budget.
Currently based in Birmingham and Dudley respectively, the Gateway and Brokerage are later this month set for an expensive move to a new location at Quinton.
No figure has been released as to how much the investment is costing.
It is likely to result eventually in their being just one chief executive.
Currently Tony Lucas heads Gateway and Lorraine Holmes is in charge of Brokerage.
Critics have slammed the Business Link West Midlands operation claiming that it has been attracting far fewer inquiries than under the previous less centralised regime.
They claim targets are artificially set and artificially met amidst a tick-box mentality, and no real impression is being made on an entrepreneurial base desperately lacking in depth.
Business Link denies that it is failing and insists it is meeting all targets. A formal decision on the merger is due to be made by the end of February but it is effectively a fait accompli.
The move to Quinton is also due at the end of the month.
Business Link West Midlands employs 280 staff and has a pool of self-employed advisers.
* Black Country Chamber of Commerce is parting company with its press officer of the last three years, Chris Burton.
The Stourbridge-based former Birmingham Post journalist is being made redundant.
It follows a wider shake-up at the Chamber.
"There are several issues to be resolved regarding the restructuring of Black Country Chamber of Commerce," it stated.
"A full statement on the future shape and direction of the organisation will be made once those matters are settled."
Mr Burton leaves today.
He said: "It is completely amicable. There is not any capacity in the new structure for my position.
"It has been a very enjoyable three years speaking up for the Black Country, which is something I am committed to.
"I wish them all the best for the future." A settlement has been agreed with Mr Burton.
The Chamber, which employs around 25 people, is moving its headquarters to Walsall.
The lease is up on its current building at the Waterfront in Dudley and, with Business Link moving out to a new complex in Quinton, it would in any case have been far too big.
It is understood steps are under way to find a small base locally for Dudley Chamber, part of BCCC.