Birmingham businesses received a boost when Ministers announced they will qualify for a share of hundreds of millions of pounds of industrial aid.
But Trade Minister Margaret Hodge warned it could be the last time the money was available - because it was set to be diverted to poor eastern European countries.
And North Warwickshire, which has been hit by massive job losses at Jaguar and Peugeot, was excluded from the funding scheme.
The Department of Trade and Industry announced which areas will qualify for assisted area funding from the European Union, which is designed to help businesses in deprived areas.
Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and north Solihull will continue to be eligible until at least 2013.
But Ms Hodge warned the current funding round could be the last time the UK benefits - because it was so wealthy compared to the new countries joining the EU from eastern Europe.
She said: "I would be surprised if the UK retains eligibility for structural and regional funds.
"That is partly to do with the economy doing well and partly to do with the EU bringing in poorer countries.
"It is my own view that I would be surprised if the UK retains a lot of the EU regional assistance."
North Warwickshire includes Nuneaton, Bedworth, Rugby, Stratford and Warwick.
Nearby Coventry, which was hit 2,300 planned job cuts at Peugeot and 400 redundancies at Jaguar, will still qualify. But the cuts have affected the entire county.
The percentage of the population covered by assisted status will be cut from 30 per cent to 23 per cent.
Under the scheme, which was first introduced in the mid-1980s, companies in assisted areas are eligible for Government aid to create or safeguard jobs.
The change was ordered by the European Union, partly to give more aid to the newer EU countries including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia.
All Western EU states will see their coverage fall, including France, which will reduce from 36 per cent of the population to 18 per cent, while coverage in the Republic of Ireland will be halved.