The Government has unveiled new plans for areas across Oxford-Cambridge Arc and West of England today to boost productivity and economic growth.
The new strategies set out a plan to back businesses in each area, boosting people’s earning power while creating high-quality, well paid jobs.
Demonstrating the unique strengths of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc area and its local economies, the Government has published four Local Industrial Strategies covering Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Oxfordshire and the South East Midlands.
The Government has also published the West of England Local Industrial Strategy, looking at how to most effectively build on the creativity, collaboration and ingenuity of the region, as well as setting a clear strategy that addresses existing barriers to productivity.
Commenting, Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “Local Industrial Strategies are fundamental to our aim of creating prosperous communities across the country. The plans unveiled today will help to deliver real benefits to people while driving investment and supporting businesses to create thriving local economies.”
Today’s economic blueprints, spanning the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and the West of England, follow similar agreements in Greater Manchester and the West Midlands. This helps meet a key ambition of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy – driving growth and spreading opportunities across all regions of the UK.
Developed by Local Enterprise Partners (LEPs) and Mayoral Combined Authorities, in collaboration with local leaders, local authorities, businesses, and the Government, each Local Industrial Strategies set out how the areas will deliver the national Industrial Strategy’s aim to raise productivity levels and to create high-quality, well paid jobs.
Each of the four Local Industrial Strategies covering the Oxford-Cambridge Arc has a different focus, reflecting the unique nature of their local economies:
- Buckinghamshire aims to grow the county’s creative, space, advanced manufacturing and digital health sectors, building on the world-leading assets it already has such as the Westcott Space Cluster and Pinewood Studios.
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will help grow an industrial ecosystem that is globally known for tackling the biggest challenges facing society, with interventions tailored to the needs of each of its sub-economies: Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough and The Fens.
- Oxfordshire plans to build on the county’s world leading science and tech clusters to be a pioneer for transformative technologies and sectors, with its overarching ambition for the county to be a top three global innovation ecosystem by 2040.
- The South East Midlands’ overarching ambition is to position the area as the ‘Connected Core’ of the Arc, a place with the right R&D assets, business environment and networks to foster, test and commercialise new innovations.
These Local Industrial Strategies also mark a major contribution to the Government’s wider work on the Arc, with their focus on driving productivity by outlining shared priorities across the region. These include:
- Harnessing the collective strength of the Arc’s research base – driving greater collaboration on science and research and growing the role of the Arc as a global research and innovation hub.
- Bringing employers and skills providers together to understand the current and future skills needs, and planning provision to meet them.
- Maximising the economic benefits of planned transport, energy and digital infrastructure within the Arc.
- Developing an improved business support and finance programme for high growth companies, a shared approach to commercial premises and an Internationalisation Delivery Plan to encourage greater trade and inward investment in the Arc.
- Co-designing a Natural Capital Planning approach to development within the Arc, seeking to embody Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and contributing to the Clean Growth Grand Challenge Mission to halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030.
West of England
Developed in collaboration with local leaders, Government and businesses, the West of England Local Industrial Strategy sets out how the area will contribute towards delivering the national Industrial Strategy’s aim to raise productivity levels and create high-quality, well paid jobs across the country.
To ensure continued success for the region, four key priorities are identified in the Strategy:
Strengthening innovation and driving productivity by:
- Connecting researchers, businesses and residents through a Global Centre of Innovation Excellence to focus the region’s innovative strengths on globally and nationally significant challenges.
- Developing, testing and preparing for market new products and services through a new West of England Network of Living Labs.
Supporting all residents to contribute to and benefit from economic success by:
- Targeting support to communities facing challenges.
- Tailoring employment and skills support so that businesses can find the talent they need.
- Linking everyone to jobs, training and services through better physical and digital infrastructure, that is accessible, sustainable and low carbon.
Providing businesses with the space, networks and skills they need to boost productivity, grow and thrive by:
- Encouraging uptake of modern technology, management and leadership practices to lift employee wellbeing, productivity and exports.
- Including more regional providers in businesses’ supply chains and widening access to public procurement for small businesses.
- Supporting and incentivising companies towards low carbon business models.
Investing in infrastructure that reduces energy demand, lowers carbon emissions and is resilient to the impacts of climate change, supporting businesses to adopt new clean technology and energy efficiency measures, and building new carbon-neutral homes, using modern methods of construction and other housing innovations.