A second Staffordshire-based Chamber of Commerce has voted to join the proposed Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.
Burton and District Chamber of Commerce has joined its neighbours from Lichfield and Tamworth in backing the LEP, which will be one of a number set up to replace Advantage West Midlands (AWM).
Proposals for establishing LEPs have to be agreed by September, and the decisions taken by Lichfield and Tamworth and Burton are another major boost for the Birmingham and Solihull LEP.
Andrew Gentles, president of Burton and District Chamber, said it had become clear that there was a need for a united approach in order to make the most of the opportunities presented by the establishment of the LEPs.
“The government only announced this scheme in late June, and the deadline for initial bids is early September,” he said.
“Despite this tight time frame, we have been working hard to review the best option for our Chamber members in the Burton and District area.
“It is clear that the government wants businesses to be at the forefront of the LEP structures, and as such allow the private sector to drive growth in their respective areas.
“The decision to support the Birmingham and Solihull bid represented the best opportunity for our members given our recent merger with the Birmingham Chamber and the benefits that this is already bringing to our members.”
Mr Gentles added that the Chamber had been in extensive discussions with East Staffordshire Borough Council (ESBC) about LEPs, and has now written to council leader Richard Grosvenor to confirm its decision.
ESBC is poised to make a final decision about which LEP it will support .
Lichfield and Tamworth Chamber followed a similar path when it decided to join the Birmingham LEP, by writing to its local authorities – Lichfield District Council, Tamworth Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council – advising them of the stance that had been taken by the organisation.