MP CAROLINE Dinenage has welcomed news that parts of Gosport and Portsmouth are included in the 2014-20 Assisted Areas Map.
The European Commission approved the inclusion which makes local businesses eligible to bid for additional funding and tax breaks to create jobs.
The new status also means they can invest in new premises or machinery and grow.
Ms Dinenage, joined by Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, wrote a letter to the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership asking officials to recommend wards in Gosport and Portsmouth be granted Assisted Area status.
Ms Dinenage said: ‘It is great to hear that the European Commission has identified our area as having real potential for business and manufacturing growth.
‘In light of BAE’s decision to terminate shipbuilding in Portsmouth, it is essential that we make it known that our area is still open for business.
‘This is a great opportunity for Gosport and Portsmouth.’