Page 4 - The Growth Region
P. 4

About the Oxford-Cambridge Arc

       The Oxford-Cambridge arc is one of several names given to the 130-mile line of towns and cities
       arcing  between  Oxford  and  Cambridge.  The  region  can  be  thought  of  as  a  quadrilateral,
       encompassing the area between Oxford in the west and Cambridge in the east, and stretching
       from Northampton and Milton Keynes  in the north to as far as Luton in the south.

       Each  location  within  this  Oxford-Cambridge  arc  boasts  a  very  productive  knowledge  economy
       and centres of advanced manufacturing, meaning that the region has strong potential for growth
       and is set to become not only a national asset but one which competes on the world stage. The
       National  Infrastructure  Commission  (NIC)  –  tasked  with  making  recommendations  about  the
       region’s development – believes the region could support a further 700,000 jobs by 2050 and
       increase the UK’s gross value added (GVA) by £163billion . The NIC calls this a “once in a lifetime”
       growth opportunity.

       However,  the  Oxford-Cambridge  arc  faces  a  serious  housing  shortage,  potentially  diminishing
       business’ ability to attract and retain workers, and consequently threatening the overall vision.
       Poor transport links and other infrastructure issues could worsen the problem. At present, the
       region’s towns and cities are each well-connected to London, but not to one another.

       To address the housing situation, the government has committed to building up to one million
       new homes within the region by 2050 . This presents an excellent opportunity for those with land
       to sell, as well as developers of housing and associated facilities.

       Regarding  connectivity,  the  government  plans  to  spend  up  to  £3.5billion  on  a  road  linking
       Cambridge,  Milton  Keynes  and  Oxford  –  the  Oxford  to  Cambridge  Expressway.  A  railway
       connecting East Anglia with central, southern and western England – the East West Rail – is also
       being planned. The government has earmarked more than £100 million for the next stage of the
       latter project, which is scheduled for completion by 2024 .
       Such deadlines might seem a long way off, but future success is not guaranteed and you should
       be already preparing if you want to benefit from this opportunity. If you don’t others will.

                                    2             Cambridge I London I Milton Keynes I Northampton
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