‘A symbolic first step towards developing UK’s Silicon Valley’, is how the Leader of England’s Economic Heartland Strategic Alliance, Martin Tett described today’s (23 Nov) Autumn Statement announcements in Parliament.
In welcoming the Chancellor’s first Statement, Mr Tett said it really seems like the Government has got the message that investing in the Oxford – Milton Keynes – Cambridge corridor is the key to unlocking billions more economic value for the country – just when it’s needed most.
In the Autumn Statement Philip Hammond, who made special reference to the Heartland area, describing it as the ‘Transformational Tech Corridor’, confirmed:
- Government support for the East-West Rail project, with the announcement of £100m to take forward work on the western section and a further£10m for early work on developing the central section.
- £27 million to help develop a new Oxford to Cambridge Expressway road to speed up journey times and cut congestion.
- That the National Infrastructure Commission will carry out further work with local partners, including a new study on how emerging technologies can improve infrastructure productivity.
Mr Tett said, “This is great news and a reflection that the Heartland area really can help drive the future success of the UK economy.
“We know the potential we have in the Heartland area which is why all nine county and unitary councils and the three local enterprise partnerships have come together to provide the proper strategic leadership needed to drive that economic growth.
“As we saw last week in the National Infrastructure Commission’s interim report on the Cambridge – Milton Keynes - Oxford corridor, their advice to Government was that investing in the corridor was ‘a once in a generation opportunity and it should be grabbed with both hands’.
“On behalf of the Strategic Alliance, I’m glad that the Government has responded so positively and so quickly in their Autumn Statement. We must now keep up that pace of change to make sure we unlock that growth and additional prosperity as quickly as we are able.”