Liverpool-based regeneration and economics adviser Amion has been appointed by the Department of Communities and Local Government to evaluate the Government's Local Enterprise Growth Initiative.
Blackpool and St Helens are amongst the six case study areas being studied in detail, before the main report is produced in spring next year which will be used to inform decisions on future Government policy in deprived areas.
The £420m LEGI programme will run until 2011 and is focused on twenty areas across the country.
As well as assessing the impact of the programme on businesses and residents, the Amion evaluation team will identify and help disseminate findings concerning best practice in the areas.
Pete Stowe, a director of Amion and the study manager, said: "We are delighted to have been appointed to undertake this work and hopefully provide a key source of evidence that will help inform Government decisions on the future of this important policy area."
Amion's appointment follows on from a previous consultancy for the department evaluating the Government's National Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy.
LEGI is a government programme which aims to release the economic and productivity potential of the most deprived local areas across the country through enterprise and investment thereby boosting local incomes and employment opportunities, and building sustainable communities.
Bradford, Coventry, Croydon, and Wansbeck are the other four case study areas.
Earlier this month, Amion increased its staff in Liverpool to 20 after appointing Carmel Booth as a director from KPMG.
Amion relocated earlier this year from Silkhouse Court to Horton House at Exchange Flags.