Emda has spent about £1bn in 10 years
MPs have criticised the East Midlands Development Agency (Emda) for being too focused on urban areas.
The Nottingham-based body was set up to promote the economic well-being of the region but has recently come under scrutiny over its £150m-a-year budget.
A committee of MPs said Emda had put a lot of effort into urban areas, at the expense of rural communities.
But the report was broadly positive, especially praising the agency for its support for recession-hit businesses.
It was set up 10 years ago and has spent almost £1bn, but critics have claimed it is not accountable.
The East Midlands Select Committee began working in April, to see whether the agency represented value for money.
Its report acknowledged Emda's role had developed from strategic development to one of helping businesses deal with the recession.
But it highlighted what it saw as a disproportionate amount of effort directed at the population centres of Nottingham, Leicester and Derby.
MP for Leicester South, Sir Peter Soulsby, insisted they had gone in with an open mind and had been broadly impressed.
He said: "It is quite clear we are very fortunate to have one of the best regional development agencies in the country.
"There are things they could do better and they are very ready to admit that.
"They must make sure they work with the whole region, not just the cities.
"Some of the rural areas felt a little deprived and we understood that and we feel there should be a better balance between urban, rural and indeed semi-rural."
Paddy Tipping, the committee's chairman, said: "There was some criticism of Emda from the small business sector and the environmental lobby and from the trade unions that they were consultees rather than partners and I think Emda recognises that.
"They know their remit is going to change next year, they are going to be even more fundamental in the region, they have to ensure they are speaking on behalf of all the region."
In a statement, Emda said while it was pleased with some of the endorsements the report was for the government and it was for the government to comment.
The committee will hold a follow-up inquiry later in the year to examine how Emda had reacted to the report.