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Local Industrial Strategies

Volume 663: debated on Monday 22 July 2019

Our modern industrial strategy is a long-term plan to boost productivity and earning power for people throughout the country.

We set out to work in partnership with places to develop local industrial strategies. These strategies are central to our aim of creating prosperous communities across the country. They are being developed locally and agreed with Government, establishing a strong collaborative approach. They are long-term, based on clear evidence and aligned to the modern industrial strategy.

On 16 May we launched the first of these strategies—the west midlands local industrial strategy. We followed this with the Greater Manchester local industrial strategy on 13 June. Now, alongside local partners, we are launching the next local industrial strategies for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc (Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Oxfordshire and the South East Midlands) and the West of England.

The Oxford-Cambridge Arc local industrial strategies mark a major contribution to the Government’s wider work on the Arc with their focus on driving productivity by outlining shared priorities across the region as a whole.

The four strategies set out how partners across the Arc will work to: harness the collective strength of the Arc’s research base, driving greater collaboration in science and research; provide the skills needed for the future economy; maximise the benefits of new transport, energy and digital infrastructure; improve business support and finance for high growth companies and encourage foreign direct investment; and take a natural capital planning approach to development, contributing to the clean growth grand challenge mission.

Buckinghamshire aims to grow the county’s creative, space, advanced manufacturing and digital health sectors, building on the world-leading assets it already has such as the Westcott Space Cluster and Pinewood Studios;

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough aims to build an industrial ecosystem that is globally known for tackling the biggest challenges facing society, with interventions tailored to the needs of each of its sub-economies: Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough and The Fens;

Oxfordshire plans to build on the county’s world leading science and tech clusters to be a pioneer for transformative technologies and sectors, with its overarching ambition for the county to be a top three global innovation ecosystem by 2040;

The South East Midlands’ overarching ambition is to position the area as the “Connected Core” of the Arc, a place with the right R&D assets, business environment and networks to foster, test and commercialise new innovations.

The West of England local industrial strategy focuses on four key priorities:

Strengthening innovation and driving productivity by: Connecting researchers, businesses and residents through a Global Centre of Innovation Excellence, and testing new products and services through a new West of England network of living labs;

Supporting all residents to contribute to and benefit from economic success by: targeting support to communities facing challenges, tailoring employment and skills support and linking everyone to jobs, training and services through better physical and digital infrastructure that is accessible, sustainable and low carbon;

Providing businesses with the space, networks and skills they need to boost productivity, grow and thrive by: encouraging uptake of modern technology, management and leadership practices; including more regional providers in businesses’ supply chains and widening access to public procurement for small businesses; and supporting low carbon business models;

Investing in infrastructure that reduces energy demand, lowers carbon emissions and is resilient to the impacts of climate change, supporting businesses to adopt new clean technology and energy efficiency measures.

Copies of these five local industrial strategies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.