Castleford and Wakefield are among 100 places being invited to bid for a share of a £3.6bn funding pot announced by the Government.
Among the “pioneers” of the new Town Deals are 42 places within the Northern Powerhouse, including 16 in Yorkshire and the Humber.
A total of 100 communities around the country will be involved in the project Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said.
It covers places with “proud industrial heritage” that have not always benefited from economic growth. Sixteen are in this region.
Mr Jenrick said each of the places on the list could have up to £25m invested as part of the scheme.
Hesaid: “We want to level-up our great towns, raising living standards and ensuring they can thrive with transformative investment in transport, technology, skills and culture.”
A separate Northern Powerhouse Rail scheme would mean the journey time from Leeds to Manchester cut to 25 minutes.