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Introducing the CaMkOx Knowledge Corridor

15:45 01 August in News

The Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford (CaMkOx) Knowledge Corridor is of vital economic importance in the UK.

It is home to two universities widely recognised as world leaders in key areas of research and innovation, including Oxford University, consistently ranked in the global top four, and a cluster of science and technology companies competing for high-tech investment. It contains nationally-significant industry concentrations that can be a springboard for this corridor to lead the way in areas such as medicine, life sciences, autonomous vehicles, biotech and artificial intelligence – further strengthening the position of the Thames Valley as a driver of the UK economy.

This corridor is already amongst the most economically successful in the UK, contributing an impressive £105 billion (U$D 118 bn) to the UK economy in 2016. Estimates suggest that its potential is similar to Silicon Valley, with annual outputs of the corridor in 2050 reaching £163 bn (U$D 214 bn) higher than in 2014 – approximately doubling expected growth. This means that if growth is to continue at the long-term average rate of 4%, the economic contribution of the CaMkOx Corridor to the UK economy could reach £400 billion by 2050.

“The magnets at either end of the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford (CaMkOx) Arc are drawing the mainstream media’s attention to the transport, housing and infrastructure projects planned”, which would “strengthen belief in the huge economic potential of the region.”

Branding the CAMKOX Arc Report (2018)

Central to the vision is transport infrastructure. Plans include a new East-West Rail line connecting Oxford and Cambridge (‘Varsity Line’) by 2030 and the accelerated development of the Oxford-Cambridge Expressway.

“East-West Rail will transform journeys in one of Europe’s most vibrant economic regions, providing passengers and businesses with a transport system that unlocks economic opportunity and drives forward new housing and jobs.

Rapid progress on the project means we will see construction underway on direct, fast and reliable services from next year [September 2019], delivering significantly better connections for passengers.”

Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP – Secretary of State for Transport

Housing forms the other key element of the strategy, with the aim to deliver one million new homes in the corridor by 2050, through settlement expansion and the development of up to five new towns or villages. In Oxfordshire, targets are for 100,000 homes to be built by 2031, supporting wider employment growth at locations such as Science Vale.

“Fulfilling this potential is not only key to the prospects of the region and wider Thames Valley; it is fundamental to the long-term economic health of the UK as a whole. The corridor must therefore be positioned clearly in the minds of global investors further strengthening the region.

To some, the region might be (to use a cricketing term) a ‘corridor of uncertainty’. However, if the Oxford-Cambridge Corridor story is pitched correctly and told eloquently, as a region, our world-class research, innovation and technology capabilities will support the UK’s economic performance in a changing global economy.”

Nigel Tipple, CEO – Oxfordshire LEP

Local partners in Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire are working to develop the regional offer and ‘place potential’ in what are known as local industrial strategies, ensuring that foreign investors are engaged and making the most of what the region has to offer in terms of growth and productivity.

The strategic vision for the CaMkOx Knowledge Corridor was delivered by the National Infrastructure Commission and received Government support in the November 2017 Budget. Iain Stewart MP is the Government champion for the project and has the “role of standard-bearer for this important economic area, working with partners to help it fulfil its potential.”

“The global brand appeal and ability of the Thames Valley (and our assets), to attract investors is tangible in the inward investment success and business activity we have and continue to report. The early collaboration and commitment to deliver additional, significant, growth into the Thames Valley and wider region is great to see. The continued work of the public-private partnership, with effective business representation, will be good to see and, we are sure, deliver results.”

Paul Britton, CEO – Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce

The latest research on the economic potential of the CaMkOx Arc can be read here.

Read the report “Introducing the CaMkOx Arc” here.

Read the report “Branding the CaMkOx Arc” here.