Public consultation about the Oxford-Cambridge Arc begins for people in Milton Keynes

The government is asking for your views

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 1:09 pm

An official public consultation has been launched this week about the government's proposals for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

They are asking for people's views to help create a "vision" for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc Spatial Framework, and in doing so guide the future growth of the area to 2050.

A spokesman for the project said: "We are keen to hear from people who live, work, travel and have a business based in the area, as well as those who just have an interest in the future of the Arc and the area it covers.

The Oxford-Cambridge Arc

"We will consider all comments received to this consultation, which, alongside other considerations, will help create the Spatial Framework’s vision for the Arc to 2050. It will also help to inform the development of the Sustainability Appraisal."

The Oxford-Cambridge Arc (the Arc) is a globally significant area between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge. It is formed of five ceremonial counties: Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire.

This forms an ‘Arc’, which provides a place to live for approximately 3.7 million residents and supports over two million jobs. Adding over £110 billion in economic output every year, it is home to one of the fastest growing economies in England.

The spokesman said: "It is a unique place, home to cutting-edge research, globally renowned science and technology clusters, and some of the most productive towns and cities in the country. It contains a vibrant natural environment, world-leading universities, and a rich cultural heritage."

The government plans to turn the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, which includes Milton Keynes, into a "premiere growth corridor" to improve and plan for economic growth across the five counties.

It is pledging to create thousands of jobs across the arc and make the entire area a better place to live and work.

"Our ambition for the Arc is to build a better economic, social and environmental future for the area. There is an opportunity to make the Arc an even more beautiful place to live, work and visit, by making high-quality, well-connected and sustainable communities," said the spokesman.

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher said earlier this year: "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 government will lead the development of the framework, working closely with communities and local stakeholders at each step.