A ‘peace deal’ has been struck which, it is hoped, will end decades of rivalry in the bid to be Britain's official Second City.
Birmingham and Manchester have announced a new era of co-operation and collaboration in an effort to boost growth and jobs in both cities.
They have also pledged to work with other major cities in the UK to secure a better deal from the Government for transport and big city economies.
Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore and his Manchester counterpart Sir Richard Leese agreed to strengthen ties between the cities.
It is a far cry from former rivalries, where the cities would compete for government funding and bid against each other for events such as athletics championships, cup semi-finals, political party conferences, business conferences and cultural events.
There are also the unofficial claims to be the Second City, which has been Birmingham’s on size and population, but which Manchester has also laid claimed to through its global reputation, boosted by United and City football team successes and the vibrancy of its music and cultural scenes.
Sir Albert said: “Manchester is sometimes a competitor of ours. But it is not the enemy.
"We share vital strategic interests and we should work closely with all the core cities to make sure our collective voice is heard.
“This marks a clean break from the old approach of competing with the other cities for attention.
“Instead, we recognise that the cities share a common interest in seeking more powers and fairer funding so we can boost growth and create jobs.”
Sir Richard Leese added: “This is not just a city issue. Every part of the UK needs our major cities to be delivering strong and sustainable growth.
‘‘Manchester very much looks forward to working with Birmingham to ensure that growth is maximised across the UK in the coming years.”
Council officials in both cities will now discuss ways to share resources and develop a joint work programme.
A first sign of the new working will be seen when Sir Albert leads a Birmingham delegation to meet Prime Minister David Cameron this year to demand more autonomy and a fairer deal for Birmingham and all major cities.
The new agreement was revealed as Sir Albert unveiled a policy statement, which included pledges to boost businesses and jobs and tackle deprivation.