Marketing Birmingham, the organisation charged with promoting the city nationally and internationally, is to receive additional funding of £3.8 million from the City Council.

The two-year deal will be approved at a cabinet meeting today.

Council leader Mike Whitby said he expected Marketing Birmingham to increase its revenue by £2 million and to lever in a further £6 million from the private sector, taking the organisation's finances to a level that would place Birmingham on an equal footing with other UK cities in terms of marketing spend.

Coun Whitby (Con Har-borne) added: "Eighteen months ago I made a pledge to support the work of Marketing Birmingham as it worked to improve Birmingham's image nationally and internationally.

"I am pleased to see that this support has been repaid. We can all be proud of the innovative, imaginative and positive national and international attention that the city is attracting."

A progress report to the cabinet outlines Marketing Birmingham's three main promotional themes:

* Birmingham, a welcoming place

* Birmingham, Europe's youngest city

* Birmingham, a cosmopolitan city

Coun Whitby added: "Marketing Birmingham has been instrumental in establishing the city's base in London, Birmingham W1. This will continue to be a focal point for the city's bids to bring leading conference and events to the city as well as putting us in front of the national media and policy makers.

"Marketing Birmingham has also been involved in the creation of the city's new film office, FilmBirmingham, and will continue to support their efforts in putting Birmingham in the spotlight for the film and media industry.

"This is the start of a new era for Birmingham. I am determined to take advantage of the city's improved image. In the next five years we will see £13 billion invested here that will create real jobs and opportunities for our 21st century city."