Business and council leaders have backed plans to create local agencies to promote economic growth - but insisted a regional approach will still be needed too.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has told councils and business leaders including chambers of commerce to draw up plans for local enterprise partnerships by September 6.
The partnerships will replace regional development agencies, the large regional bodies created by Labour.
There are likely to be six enterprise partnerships covering the West Midlands region, which was previously served by a single agency.
Business Voice West Midlands, which represents a wide range of business and professional organisations across the West Midlands, and West Midlands councils, which represents 33 local authorities, have issued a joint statement backing the changes. But they said they were ready to help co-ordinate a region-wide response when it was needed.
Barrie Williams, chairman of Business Voice West Midlands, said “As support organisations for business and local government respectively, Business Voice West Midlands and West Midlands Councils recognise there will be matters when the local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) will need to work together on opportunities which transcend LEP boundaries, and we are here to help.
“The two organisations are therefore actively exploring how we can best support the LEPs where they need to come together to discuss matters of shared importance. At this stage we anticipate issues such as a collective approach to securing European Funding or provision of specialist training and strategic support for our businesses might well necessitate a collaborative approach.
“Business Voice West Midlands working jointly with West Midlands Councils will facilitate and co-ordinate such discussions. We expect to use this mechanism only where there is efficiency through economies of scale or a clear need to share experiences and resources.”
Councillor Philip Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council and chairman of West Midlands Councils said “The LEP proposals across the West Midlands are positive responses to the economic challenges faced locally and nationally. Business and local authorities are putting together the right arrangements for their localities and have shown real maturity and flexibility in the way they have approached the task.
“All are committed to working with adjacent LEPs and authorities in England and Wales and developing strategic alliances with neighbouring LEPs with the express purpose of securing private sector growth and jobs.”