Will the majority Tory government bring change to the region’s development plans?


03-01-2020
Bryan Guest, associate at Hewitsons

Changes to the existing proposals for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc are on the horizon with the election of a majority Conservative government, according to local law firm Hewitsons.

The arching sweep of land between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge has been identified as an economic asset of international standing. The aim of the arc, which was launched in 2003, is to promote and accelerate the development of the unique set of educational, research and business assets and activities that characterise the area, creating an arc of innovation and entrepreneurial activity that would be best in the field.

Realising this potential is likely to mean more jobs for existing communities and future residents, and can encourage international investment and exports for the benefit of local businesses and the national economy.

According to Hewitsons, which is strategically placed in the centre of the arc, with offices in Cambridge, Northampton and Milton Keynes, as well as London, the Tory party promised to review the Oxford-Cambridge express way during its election campaign and look at alternative plans to the Oxford to Milton Keynes and M1 section of the link road scheme.

In November, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said the scheme would only proceed if it secures local support. A priority review into the link road scheme now looks likely.

According to the firm, as part of the Conservative Party’s manifesto plans for full devolution across England, the government is expected to invite proposals to develop a growth body, similar to the Northern Powerhouse and Western Gateway, to help drive growth and foreign investment in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

Bryan Guest, associate at Hewitsons (pictured), who sits on the firm’s arc specialist development group, said: “The Conservatives have pledged to remain committed to devolving power to people and places across the UK.

“Given that we represent many businesses in the arc growth corridor, we will be watching its development closely. The enhancement of the region will require new ways of working between the government, local partners and businesses to ensure benefits are felt both by local people in the arc and the national economy.

He added: “The government is preparing to invest billions in the region over the coming years and this is an exciting time for us all within the arc. Whether you are a landowner interested in selling, a developer of housing or other facilities, or a business looking to expand, the opportunities are huge.  We have expertise in every one of these areas (among many others) and our various specialist teams are here to help with your specific needs.”

Hewitsons is ideally placed in the heart of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc to help clients capitalise on this period of growth.

 

 

 

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