Ministers are to consider proposals for a second “enterprise zone” offering employers tax breaks in the Birmingham and Solihull area.
The aim of the zone would be to create new jobs in the private sector to replace those being lost as a result of public sector spending cuts.
George Osborne, the Chancellor, has already agreed to create an enterprise zone in Birmingham where new employers will be exempt from business rates for five years.
It is due to be created in Birmingham city centre, and will include the planned new high speed rail station near Curzon Street.
But councillors and business leaders, working together as Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, have submitted a bid for a second enterprise zone.
Rival bids have also come from Coventry and Warwickshire, Stoke and Staffordshire, Worcester and from “the Marches”, a partnership between councils and chambers of commerce in Herefordshire and Shropshire.
In total, the Government has received 27 new bids for enterprise zones and will approve ten of them.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said: “I’m delighted by how many areas have put themselves forward, but only the best applications will get a zone.
"To succeed they must be ambitious for jobs, committed to reducing the barriers to enterprise and eager to create a springboard for growth.”
“Enterprise Zones will transform twenty one under-utilised parts of the country into business magnets attracting new companies to the area with tax breaks and simplified planning regimes.”