Five councils will consider plans to form a combined authority after a consultation found in their favour.
More than 1,900 people responded to a survey on the proposed Tees Valley Combined Authority, with 65% in support.
Councils in Darlington, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Stockton and Redcar say the authority would allow Tees Valley to gain greater power and national influence.
It could be set up by the autumn.
The combined authority would see the councils unite to work on major projects such as infrastructure or transport as well as being in place to accept any powers devolved from central government.
They would still operate their own local services, however.
Each council will now have to approve going ahead with the project before it is submitted for government approval.
Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon said: "A strong single voice is essential if we are to advance the Tees area agenda on key strategic issues such as transport, employment and in the skills agenda, which are crucial to economic growth."
Seven councils in Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham formed the North East Combined Authority last year.