Each office will be headed by a senior civil servant who will act as regional director for the departments of employment, environment, transport, and trade and industry. They will administer more than £3bn a year of government programmes on behalf of each of the four government departments.
The offices will provide a single point of access to the fund for local authorities, businesses and voluntary bodies.
According to Birmingham's Labour leader, there is a 'democratic deficit' in what she calls 'regional government with neither answerability nor accountability'.
Some critics believe that not enough has been done to merge Whitehall interests, and that an opportunity to create a 'super-ministry' has been missed.