Hundreds of millions of pounds has been awarded to local enterprise partnerships (LEP) across the West Midlands by a European fund in a bid to stimulate job creation and skills across the region.
The cash will be provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and distributed by LEPs to businesses to support innovation and benefit local communities.
The Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP secured the highest amount of cash in the West Midlands, with £178.3m made available to allocate and invest in local companies.
The Black Country was awarded £123.6m, while Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire was granted £112.6m.
The Coventry and Warwickshire LEP and Marches LEP, which covers Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, secured £94.8m and £79.3m respectively.
Local growth minister James Wharton said: “This funding will give the area a chance to contribute more to the national economy and unlock local potential.
“It will ensure we can build local economies that will have a big and real impact on people’s lives, delivering more jobs, more opportunities and a better future for all.
“We want local partners to come forward with how they want to use this money to drive forward their economy. As part of our long-term economic plan this money will provide a big boost to businesses and help create numerous jobs locally that will also benefit people living in towns and villages nearby.”
Nationally, about £5bn will be distributed to LEPs from the 2014 to 2020 round of ERDF and the European Social Fund.