Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Government backs new Oxford to Cambridge pan regional partnership

Friday, 20 January 2023

Proposals for a locally-led partnership for the Oxford to Cambridge region have been given the green light by the government.

The partnership’s role will be to champion the region as a world leader of innovation and business, acting to achieve environmentally sustainable and inclusive growth. It will strengthen the cross-boundary collaboration among its partners to focus on tackling the issues that matter to the people who live and work in the region.

The partnership’s initial programme is to:

  • develop a set of propositions to attract international investment and profile the region on a global stage
  • continue the work underway to embed shared environment principles

Following the official commitment from the government, the partnership will begin active recruitment of an independent Chair. In the interim, a Shadow Board has been set up to oversee the Partnership’s programme and agree governance and funding.

Chair of the Shadow Board, Councillor Barry Wood said:

We believe that by working together the whole Oxford to Cambridge region can be greater than the sum of its parts.

With official status as a Pan-Regional Partnership backed by the government, we can unlock potential and further strengthen our area’s position as a hub of innovation; a globally recognised region of science and technology that delivers prosperity for our communities.

It will enable us to better achieve inclusive and sustainable outcomes for residents, businesses and the environment.

Councillor Richard Wenham, Leader of Central Bedfordshire Council and a Shadow Board Member, said:

We have ambitious and bold plans for Central Bedfordshire to continue to deliver jobs, growth and prosperity for our communities and residents.

We welcome government focus to continue to work on growing the economy and the international brand to attract world-class employment and innovation opportunities to Central Bedfordshire.

The partnership will have a board which oversees its work and operations. This will include representation from:

  • an independent Chair
  • one Chair from each of the member Growth Boards or equivalent, plus one additional co-chair representing the Central Area Growth Board
  • one Chair representing the partnership’s programme sub-groups: currently environment and economy
  • one Chair from each of the main constituent stakeholder groups, one representing local enterprise partnerships, one representing the Arc Universities Group and, one representing England’s Economic Heartland
  • two non-executive directors, following recruitment