Talks are under way with a firm which could bring hundreds of jobs to Teesside.
The unnamed company's interest in the area was triggered by a campaign which encourages businesses to relocate to the area because of its plentiful water supply.
The news of the potential jobs boost came as the campaign picked up a national award.
Tees Valley Regeneration (TVR) is not revealing details of the company.
Today it said: "TVR would love to be able to give more details but negotiations are still on-going."
Marketing magazine Direct Response runs the Intelligence Awards for the best use of data in marketing.
The campaign run by TVR, Northumbrian Water and Middlesbrough marketing consultancy Rocket Science won three accolades - including the overall Grand Prix Award.
The campaign identified that the region's plentiful water supply was a major attraction compared to other areas and that it could be used as an incentive to encourage companies to relocate to the Tees Valley.
It used sophisticated marketing analysis of NW's data to build a profile of high water users, to identify and target companies in areas where water supply problems or tough legislation on the extraction and discharge of water were likely to have a serious impact on their businesses.
These organisations were sent a brochure outlining the benefits of Tees Valley's water supply.
The campaign also won the awards for the public service sector and the application of data on a budget.
Judges' chairwoman Rosemary Smith said the entry "was a clear use of data to target companies early rather than rely on already identified movers. It's a comprehensive, well thought out piece of work".
It beat the likes of Sainsbury's, The Carphone Warehouse, Times Newspapers, British Gas and Tesco.
Joe Docherty, TVR chief executive, said: "It is great to have our value recognised at national level, especially in the light of the big-name competition."