#NorthantsTogether to tackle Coronavirus

Northampton residents urged to take action as local cases rise above national rate. Plus find out how to book a test and see testing locations in Northamptonshire Latest Coronavirus updates

Government Plan to transform Oxford-Cambridge Arc into United Kingdom's fastest growing economic region

Published: Thursday, 18 February 2021

An ambitious plan to unleash the economic and cultural potential of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, to transform it into one of the world’s premier growth corridors and a world-leader in sustainability

 has been announced today (Thursday 18 February) by Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher.

The Spatial Framework plan will help to create thousands of jobs, drive investment, protect and enhance the environment, and provide the infrastructure and beautiful new places needed to make the area – which spans the five counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire – an even greater place to live and work.

The results, due to be published in 2022, will give communities a chance to shape the long-term future of their area and will help to ensure the benefits of growth are felt across the region.

The intention to establish an Arc Growth Body will also help unleash the area’s potential as a global innovation powerhouse by promoting the Arc internationally. 

With the right interventions and investment, local analysis suggests that by 2050 economic output could double to over £200bn.

To realise the full potential of local economies and the Arc as a whole, the Government is also considering how further investment could create jobs, support the delivery of more homes, and support local economic growth.

Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said: “The Oxford-Cambridge Arc is already home to world-leading economic, cultural and scientific assets.”

“We know for instance Cambridge’s rate of patent applications – a key indicator of innovation – is the highest in the United Kingdom, while nearby Milton Keynes is the fastest growing city in the country. “

 “We want to take this region to the next phase of its renaissance by unlocking its full potential and our plans will drive investment where it is needed and ensure, as growth happens, we create well-designed, inclusive and vibrant places and communities.”

 “The OxCam Spatial Framework will allow us to plan positively for growth and we look forward to working with our local partners over the coming months to strengthen our vision and approach to the Arc.” 

Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “We are delighted that the Government has shown a big commitment to the Oxford-Cambridge Arc with today’s announcement and we are excited at the opportunities this would present to our communities, but also fully recognise our responsibility to ensure that it is delivered in a way that maximises benefits and supports jobs across the region, and that growth brings the vital infrastructure to support it.”

Councillor Barry Wood, Chair of the Arc Leadership Group and Leader Cherwell District Council said: “We welcome the continuing commitment from Government to the Oxford to Cambridge Arc through today’s announcements.

“We look forward to working together with local people and our local partners to deliver an economy that works for all, underpinned by a high-quality natural environment. This will include planning for and enabling development that is truly inclusive and sustainable which delivers real benefits for our communities and environment now and in the future.”

The Arc already is home to over 2 million jobs and provides a place to live for over 3.7 million residents. 

The Arc’s success is key to the United Kingdom’s national prosperity, international competitiveness, and ability to meet the challenges and opportunities the country will face  over the next century, including climate change and supporting nature recovery technological change fighting COVID-19 and preventing future pandemics.

This regional success will build on the work of the United Kingdom Government that has helped millions of people continue to provide for their families as part of its Plan for Jobs to protect, support and create employment.