Portsmouth City Council has agreed to be a part of the formal application to form the Solent Combined Authority.
The decision to apply to the Government for the creation of a combined authority was taken at a special meeting of the council's cabinet following discussion of the proposals at a full council meeting on Tuesday.
A public consultation on the idea of a Solent Combined Authority found that 71% of those who took part supported the plans, with 58% of respondents supporting the idea of a directly elected mayor.
However, the consultation has been criticised due to the small number of people who took part. Only 1% of the area’s population were sampled for the consultation.
Southampton City Council and the Isle of Wight Council both have similar meetings scheduled in the next two weeks to decide if they also wish to progress the plans.
If all three councils agree, an application will be submitted to government.
‘I am delighted that we have agreed to progress plans for a Solent Combined Authority, this is something that will deliver huge benefits for residents of Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight,’ Cllr Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council.
‘I am confident councils in Southampton and the Isle of Wight will follow suit in the coming weeks and look forward to formally submitting our application to government.
Cllr Jones said the combined authority would secure £30m a year for the next 30 years - £900m in total.
‘This is a really positive and exciting step forward for residents and businesses in South Hampshire which will give them better opportunities for years to come,’ she added.