Prime Minister David Cameron has singled out the Ricoh Arena in Coventry as an example of what the Government hopes to achieve with the Regional Growth Fund.
The stadium, which benefited from a £5 million investment from Advantage West Midlands, has created 1,500 private sector jobs for the city.
Speaking during an event for local enterprise partnerships held at the stadium, Mr Cameron said it was the kind of project the £1.4 billion Regional Growth Fund would be looking to support.
“The Regional Growth Fund is for exactly projects like this,” he said.
“The test for the Regional Growth Fund is – ‘is it going to help regional growth and is it going to help parts of the country that have been over-reliant on public sector jobs?’
“I think something like the Ricoh stadium would fit very firmly into that.”
Mr Cameron praised the manufacturing sector in the West Midlands, and said he was enthusiastic about the economy in the region.
His comments follow new figures showing the sector created a record number of jobs in February, leading many to pin their hopes on manufacturing reversing the 0.6 per cent slump in GDP in the last quarter of 2010.
“Because of the success of the motor industry in the West Midlands and with what’s happening at Jaguar and Land Rover, there are lots of opportunities for the supply chain to grow,” said Mr Cameron.
“I’m enthusiastic about the economy in the West Midlands – there are some great success stories.
“Clearly there are some difficulties.
“We’re seeing good growth in manufacturing – it’s growing something like five per cent a year and manufacturing exports are growing faster than that.
“There is a manufacturing revival at the moment and that is good for Coventry and the West Midlands.”
Mr Cameron said that local enterprise partnerships were more accessible to local communities than the regional development agencies set up by Labour.
“The local enterprise partnerships are areas people can identify with,” he said.
“There is big enthusiasm from business and local councils who feel they are in control of it rather than the regional development agencies who were often rather distant,” Mr Cameron said.