DCLG has published a list of the bidders in the national competition. This is to find 10 EZs to add to the 11 which were announced in the budget. In all, 29 bids have been recieved. As well as the list, the link summarises the benefits avaliable to EZs.
Probably the key benefit is the local retention of business rate growth for 25 years. For areas where a bid is successful, it is the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which will call the shots on how these monies are spent and how they can best meet the LEP's priorities. We may therefore see a "premier league" of LEPs emerging and a distinction between LEPs with real spending decisions to make, and those without.
The successful bids will be announced later in the summer. The key criteria against which they will be judged are;
Ability to deliver growth and jobs Value for money; and Implementation.