Oxford-Cambridge Arc

Apex Ox Cam Arc

Cross-boundary collaboration between Oxford and Cambridge will focus on tackling the issues that matter to those who live and work in the region…

Ox-Cam Arc

Following our article on strategic planning last month, it’s good to see that the government has now backed the proposals for a locally-led partnership for the Oxford to Cambridge region.

Covering the area between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge, the Arc is formed of five counties: Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire. It currently supports over two million jobs, adds over £110 billion to the economy every year and houses one of the fastest growing economies in England.

The partnership will act as a champion for the region, pushing its status as a world leader of innovation and business, and aiming to achieve environmentally sustainable and inclusive growth.

Pan-Regional Partnership

A Shadow Board has been created to set up the Partnership’s programme. Its Chair, Councillor Barry Wood, said: “We believe that by working together the whole Oxford to Cambridge region can be greater than the sum of its parts.

“With official status as a Pan-Regional Partnership backed by the government, we can unlock potential and further strengthen our area’s position as a hub of innovation; a globally recognised region of science and technology that delivers prosperity for our communities. It will enable us to better achieve inclusive and sustainable outcomes for residents, businesses and the environment.’’

Councillor Richard Wenham, Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council and a Shadow Board Member, added: “We have ambitious and bold plans for Central Bedfordshire to continue to deliver jobs, growth and prosperity for our communities and residents.

“We welcome the government ‘s focus to continue to work on growing the economy and the international brand to attract world-class employment and innovation opportunities to Central Bedfordshire.’’

Apex Planning Consultants’ Paul Smith commented: “It is exciting to see that there is still an appetite within local government for development spanning the Oxford to Cambridge region. Central government has given its support for a pan-regional partnership to actively drive this forward. I am very pleased to see this, and I look forward to seeing how the Board will help to deliver the huge growth potential of the pan-region.’’

Appetite for the Arc

As a co-founder of Property Development Quarterly (PDQ) – an event that moves around Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire and attended by circa 100 delegates each time, from the public and private sectors involved in property, planning and development – Paul Smith is especially pleased to see that the appetite for the ‘Arc’ remains strong. 

PDQ was established in January 2017 and since that time has attracted notable speakers, including Homes England, Bank of England, and the National Infrastructure Commission. Its original objective was to bring public and private sector planning and development professionals together that are based or operate in the ‘Arc’. Therefore, the news of the Pan-Regional Partnership means PDQ is as relevant as when it started.  Paul Smith added: “I have no doubt that the Pan-Regional Partnership will continue to stimulate positive discussions and to form an integral part of PDQ’s future events.”

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