Go big or go home

Big Plans - a spatial framework for the Oxford Cambridge Arc to create 1.1 million jobs, environmental gains, economic and social growth by 2050 marks a radical change for the UK

The official announcement is worth reading in full with the “glossy paper”:

This is something many of my clients are personally involved in (and, for transparency, I am a board director at SEMLEP and chair the internal Inward Investment Group of local authority inward investment officers and cross authority investment experts.

What is the take away?

The takeaway for readers is that the UK now has, as a matter of necessity, a Government that is going to take a much more interventionist and centrally planned approach to land use, innovation funding, economic investment, supporting overseas investors, and infrastructure.

Those who do not “get with the programme” are going to find it much harder to get access and support for major projects. It will become much easier to move larger projects forwards based on evidence.

If you are a smaller company or start-up, my strong recommendation is to “swim with the tide”, not against it.

What is the process

The government will create work a specialist group led by a Minister at MHCLG with communities and local partners to develop a plan that will:

  • support long-run sustainable economic growth across the area

  • help to make the area a brilliant place to live, work and travel in – for existing residents and future communities alike

  • support lasting improvements to the environment, green infrastructure and biodiversity

This will not be quick (it needs to be, but it won’t be)

How can you help?

Government want to hear from businesses, investors, residents and local partners at each stage of the Spatial Framework process:

  • Vision – We want to hear from people across the Arc to shape our vision for the area, providing the foundation for policy-making and planning later in the process. We intend to launch this process in early 2021, and we will use what we hear from initial stakeholder engagement to produce a draft vision statement for public consultation in summer 2021.

  • Towards a Spatial Framework’ consultation – Building on the vision, we will develop policy and growth options that we will test through engagement and consultation. We intend to publish a consultation document in spring 2022 and will run an engagement process alongside this to give everyone a chance to have their say.

  • Draft Spatial Framework – Once we have refined our preferred approach, we will publish a draft Spatial Framework for consultation. This will give communities and stakeholders a chance to shape the detailed policies and the spatial options it will contain. We intend to publish this in autumn 2022, with the final Spatial Framework implemented shortly after.

I urge all clients and readers to get engaged if they are in any way affected by this. If you do not, others with financial interest in the process will.

Emails for the relevant MPs are public, but, as they change often, I suggest starting at MHCLG and with Kris and Chris.

  • Kris Krasnowski – Oxford to Cambridge Arc Portfolio Director at MHCLG

  • The Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP- Minister of State (Minister for Housing) (re: Ox-Cam Arc)

This is a chance to make the future of the UK better. Please grab it.

Are you thinking of setting up or investing anywhere in this region?

Then get in touch with me and I will direct you to the people who can help with support, grants, planning, information, investment and analysis.