Birmingham’s new “enterprise zone” will create 50,000 jobs and raise £700 million for the region, business leaders have predicted.

The cash will be shared among local authorities in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, including East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Tamworth, Bromsgrove, Cannock, Redditch and Wyre Forest as well as Birmingham and Solihull.

The ambitious plan to boost the economy, to be set out by LEP chairman John Lewis managing director Andy Street, will mark the start of a new era in economic development in the West Midlands led by the enterprise partnership.

The cash will come from extra business rates paid by employers moving into the enterprise zone over the next 25 years.

They will be enticed into the area with the promise of a 100 per cent discount on their business rates for five years, up to a total of £275,000, relaxed planning restrictions and the possibility of cheap superfast broadband.

* See the latest edition of the Birmingham Post, out today, for the full story