Proposals for an East Midlands combined authority covering Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire could be put forward to the Government as part of county deal negotiations.
Talks on a combined authority, which would cover the same footprint as the local enterprise partnership, have been held between the two county councils, Nottingham and Derby city councils, and Government officials.
If adopted, the model would include a directly-elected mayor, giving the region access to the maximum level of devolved powers on offer in the Levelling Up White Paper.
It is thought a combined authority covering two of the nine county deal areas announced in the White Paper would give the area more clout and put it on a par with existing metro mayoralties, according to a report to the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Economic Prosperity Committee, which includes representatives of the county’s upper and lower tier councils.
The report read: ‘A mayoral combined authority of this scale would compare with areas such as Greater Manchester and the West Midlands, increase our influence nationally and could secure greater powers and funding.
‘The East Midlands has received proportionally less government funding and private sector investment for a number of years.
'It is incumbent upon local partners to explore opportunities to redress this imbalance.’