Arc Universities

Professor Andy Neely OBE, senior pro-vice-chancellor for enterprise and business at the University of Cambridge, on how we can unleash this region’s economic potential and make a massive difference to the UK. 

“The Oxford-Cambridge regional economy is a powerhouse, contributing 7.1% of England’s economic output and supporting over 2 million jobs. Over the past two decades, this economy has doubled in size, going from £58 billion in 2000 to an estimated £125 billion today.

What makes this regional economy truly impressive are its strong foundations. From large firms to startups and innovative technologies, the diversity and success of businesses in this region are remarkable. The universities in the area play a crucial role, not only in educating and conducting research but also in driving the innovation economy. The University of Cambridge alone contributed £30 billion to the UK economy and supported 86,000 jobs nationwide in 2020-2021, with 80% of this economic impact coming from startups and spinouts associated with the university.

This impact goes beyond the immediate region, influencing the entire UK. Looking ahead, experts estimate that the Oxford to Cambridge Regional Economy has the potential to deliver £235 billion annually by 2030, if adequate support for growth is provided. Unlocking this economic potential is crucial for the future of the UK.”

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