For the first time, seven local authorities have come together to collectively promote economic growth for the Central Area of the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Growth Corridor. The Central Corridor Group’s focus is in response to the National Infrastructure Commission’s programme to scope the economic opportunity of the area.
Aylesbury Vale, Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire, Cherwell, Luton, Milton Keynes and South Northamptonshire Councils are coming together to promote the Central Area, which also includes Corby, Daventry, Kettering, Northampton Borough, Northamptonshire County, East Northamptonshire and Wellingborough Councils.
Jason Longhurst, Director of Regeneration and Business at Central Bedfordshire Council and Chairman of the Central Corridor Group, said,
“The Growth Corridor is already one of the most innovative and economically successful areas of the UK but its enormous growth potential is recognised by Government as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to become a knowledge intensive cluster, competing globally.
“The Central Area has a population of 2.25 million, an economy of more than £65 billion and has delivered more than 45,000 new homes and 76,000 new jobs over the last five years. Now is the time to join forces and promote these strengths, in a drive to unlock this potential for the UK.”
Collectively, the number of businesses in the Central Area grew by 17% last year, with Lockheed Martin, Millbrook Proving Ground, Silverstone, UTC Aerospace, Unilever, Cranfield University and Technology Park, Luton Airport and Stoke Mandeville Hospital among them, as well as high technology spin outs from Oxford University.
All will benefit from further transformational investment, with nationally significant infrastructure projects that will build on the area’s connectivity including London Luton Airport’s £110 million transformation and the East West Rail Link between Oxford and Cambridge, complemented by the proposed ‘Expressway’ road.
Jason Longhurst concluded,
“The civic leadership of the Central Area shares an ambition for delivering innovation and sustainable economic and housing growth. Partners are delivering on the range of planned developments around the area and seeking new innovations for enabling growth and investment.”