This paper discusses regional governance and the relationship between spaces of economic governance and notions of regional economy. The region’s prominence in state spatial strategy has run alongside tendencies for spatial reform in pursuit of optimum spatial articulation of economy. Ongoing spatial reform holds implications for structural interpretation, policy priority and intervention practice. To this extent, regional governance can be understood using a periodisation approach, a response framed through specific temporal arrangements influenced by preceding actions, approaches and outcomes. Such changes however do not occur in isolation of prior iterations, presenting both regional demarcation and practice as a dynamic process. This process involves three concurrent episodes of structuring, casting and disruption, creating a periodisation framework. Focusing on the English region of Greater Birmingham and Solihull and its Southern Staffordshire sub-region, I discuss the evolution of regional governance arrangements and through these interpretation and reflection of regional economic structure. I argue periodisation occurs not in punctuated forms but as a dynamic and historically founded relationship influencing reform, appropriating policy, and selectively interpreting structure for organisational interest. These complex relationships create a form of tidal heating through which regions are in a state of constant flux.