RAF Cosford will double in size with the benefit of a £220 million investment if it is chosen as the site for a Ministry of Defence national training centre.
The base near Wolverhampton is bidding against locations across the country to win the right to build a world-class education and training establishment for Army, Navy and RAF personnel.
A Public Private Partnership scheme being considered by defence chiefs is expected to generate 2,300 new jobs and bring with it up to £18 billion worth of training courses which would be run by private sector firms.
The new centre, specialising in mechanical and electrical engineering and information communication systems, would be built alongside Cosford's existing aeronautical engineering college.
The Cosford bid is being backed by Bridgnorth District Council, Shropshire County Council and Advantage West Midlands, the regional development agency.
Brigadier Geoff Nield, the project team leader for the Defence Training Review at the MoD, said: "The prospect of development at Cosford is one of a number of options currently being explored by the MoD, and any decisions on the future of the site are unlikely before Autumn 2006." ..TEXT: John Edwards, chief executive of Advantage West Midlands, said: "The Defence Training Review presents the West Midlands with a really significant opportunity to secure major investment in world class leading-edge training that will benefit both the military and civilian sectors."
The possibility of significant investment in the defence sector comes a month after the Defence Secretary announced the closure of storage and distribution operations at RAF Stafford, with the loss of up to 500 jobs.