Arc Universities

Secretary of State Rt Hon Michael Gove MP has confirmed support for the establishment of an Oxford to Cambridge Pan Regional Partnership.

The endorsement follows a proposal submitted to government by leaders from local councils, local enterprise partnerships, the Arc Universities Group and the area’s transport body, England’s Economic Heartland. Backing for the pan-regional partnership unlocks access to up to £2.5million government funding for the Partnership to support its priorities in delivering sustainable growth and environmental enhancements for the region.

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 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; and
  • continue the work underway to embed shared Environment Principles.

Following the official commitment from 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, Cllr 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 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, business and the environment.”

Professor Alistair Fitt, Pro-Vice Chancellor Oxford Brookes University and Chair of the Arc Universities Group (AUG), said,

“The AUG is looking forward to working closely with both the Pan-Regional Partnership and the business-led Super Cluster Board that are emerging to promote sustainable growth across the Oxford-Cambridge region.  Similar to other regions – such as  Midlands Engine and the Northern Powerhouse  – the universities are ready to provide a coordinated contribution.”

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