OxCam Arc Economic Prospectus


6th October 2020

The Arc Leaders Executive Group’s vision for the Arc – doubling its economy by 2050.

The Prospectus is effectively a marketing document to Government to pitch for Comprehensive Spending Review money. 

Below are some extracts from the Propectus, read the OxCam Arc Economic Prospectus in full here.

East west rail: It is essential to deliver the agglomeration effects of better connectivity across the Arc in a sustainable way. To this end, the whole East West Rail project, electrified to meet our de-carbonised transport objectives, must be delivered as soon as possible.

East west road connectivity:  Future roads will be designed to accommodate the needs of all users including cyclists and pedestrians and enable the use of innovative and sustainable methods of travel such as electric vehicles. Significant investment is already committed and underway between Bedford and Cambridge (Black Cat Roundabout, A421, A428 improvements). There is a need to look again at the links between Oxford and Milton Keynes in order to channel investment more effectively to improve connectivity between the M40 and A14 and establishing the link between Jn 13 on the M1 and the A5 in Milton Keynes. Improvement of the A34 is also essential to reduce congestion, improve safety and improve air quality.

Settlements of the future: To establish testbed locations to trial new sustainable and affordable solutions for living and working based around green transport hubs and modern methods of construction – all settlements will be assessed against the aim of delivering net environmental gain, net biodiversity and net zero carbon.  We will work with Government to enhance building regulations that align to sustainability principles, and actively reduce our carbon footprint, water and energy consumption in new and existing commercial and housing stock. A dedicated Town Deals Fund for the Arc will test ways to rejuvenate and modernise our town centres of the future.

Green Arc: To double the amount of land actively managed for nature by 2050 by establishing a Doubling Nature Fund to protect and enhance the environment and increase investment in natural capital assets working with major landowners and our important agriculture sector across the Arc, building on the ambition already set in Cambridgeshire and being delivered in pilot projects across the Arc.

Environmental enhancements: To invest in projects, such as the Bedford to Milton Keynes Waterway (a scheme that has both flood alleviation and water resource resilience benefits) and the Marston Vale Forest and establish

Arc wide and more local Natural Capital Investment Plans to inform and support the emerging Arc Spatial Framework Bottom.

Arc data lab: Using data and AI to enhance understanding and inform decision making around decarbonising transport, strategic planning and investment, environmental protection and infrastructure planning. The Arc Data Lab would host a network of universities who will develop a Doctoral Training Centre to train professionals of the future. A ‘digital twin’ of the Arc will be created here and will be used to help deliver the government’s Arc Spatial Framework.

National rebalancing: The Arc is uniquely placed to play a leading role driving change in the UK growth dynamic. The region can support the growth potential to secure better jobs for local people, by promoting the capabilities of, and connecting the assets in, our area. The region can connect the growth trajectory of London and the South East to the rest of the country. 

Climate change and other sustainability challenges: The Arc’s sectors’ strengths show that this region contributes significantly towards the global response to climate change.  The Arc will urgently pursue its commitment to achieve global sustainability outcomes.  We will work to secure investment for local innovative solutions to support the circular economy. We will promote the switch to renewable energy supply, the more efficient use and management of waste and resources alongside improving travel choices, supporting changing working practices and enhancing building design, planning and construction. This will enable the improvements to design and development of sustainable communities and the protection and enhancement of our natural environment.

The Arc Leadership will pursue innovation-led growth to help solve major, urgent environmental, health and social challenges, and at the same time, drive UK competitiveness and local prosperity.

We have established a vision for sustainable and inclusive growth that will be an exemplar of net zero and net gain approaches and have assembled a partnership to harness the assets that together make the Arc the UK’s obvious choice for investment in future growth.

CPRE Oxfordshire would like to know what this Vision means in terms of levels of growth and will a Public Consultation ever happen? 

Background information, including the reaction of all 6 Oxfordshire local authority leaders, can be read here.