Two new economic blueprints, one for Cambridgeshire and one for the South East Midlands including Bedfordshire have been unveiled, designed to maximise productivity and innovation and to build on their existing strengths to make the area a centre of investing and implementing new technology.
In Cambridgeshire, the new Local Industrial Strategy aims to harness the full potential of innovation in the region, and features a Mayoral Innovation and Growth Investment Fund to increase access to funding for local firms, as well as four new Innovation Launchpads for businesses to innovate, particularly in the agri-tech and advanced manufacturing sectors, and a Skills and Apprenticeships Hub to support the local community.
In the South East Midlands a key focus is harnessing the huge local potential to develop innovative technology locally and transform the best ideas into high-growth businesses, creating new jobs and opportunities in the area and to raise productivity levels and to create high-quality, well paid jobs.
Mayor of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, James Palmer said: “The first Local Industrial Strategy for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will help create the conditions to achieve our ambition of doubling economic output and ensuring future prosperity is felt by more people. This bold strategy has clear actions to help firms grow, become more productive and increase local and global reach, while fostering and sustaining broad-based growth across our economy for years to come.
"And it is about putting people first, by underpinning our economy with better infrastructure and transport links and delivering the skills our workforce needs to secure higher quality, better paid jobs while boosting productivity. We now have a strategy which recognises the strengths and challenges of our sub-economies of the Fens, Greater Peterborough and Greater Cambridge, delivering a ambitious and joined-up masterplan that works for people and enterprise.”
Peter Horrocks CBE, Chair of SEMLEP, said: Everyone should feel proud of the achievements of the businesses in the South East Midlands and the people who work in them. This area is home to some brilliant people with brilliant ideas that, together, have created the innovation that is already shaping how we will live and work in the future. We launch a plan to enhance this even further and create more good quality jobs and enhance our local environment to support growth.”
Alan Todd Policy Lead for FSB for the East of England said: “It is good that small businesses have not been forgotten in these Local Industrial Strategies. In Bedfordshire there is an ambition to provide an exemplary business environment, with high-quality commercial premises and support for incubator, scale-up, innovation, trade and investment activity within the Arc and we also support four new Innovation Launchpads in Cambridgeshire to harness innovation.”
The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, Local Industrial Strategies are also published, demonstrating the economic strength of the Oxfordshire-Cambridge Arc area collectively.
Through these strategies, local partners will work together to harness the collective strength of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc’s research base to drive greater collaboration on science and research, bring employers and providers together to understand and meet skills needs and develop improved support for business across the Arc as a whole.