The Oxford to Cambridge Arc

About the Oxford to Cambridge Arc

The Oxford to Cambridge Arc (the Arc) is a HM Government initiative that supports collaboration across the county areas of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. The Arc is a world leading economic area, containing some of the world’s greatest and most internationally recognisable centres of learning, alongside a network of cutting-edge science parks, research institutions and businesses. Realising the potential of the Arc should deliver more higher quality jobs for existing communities and future residents, as well as encouraging international investment and exports to benefit both local businesses and the national economy.

The Arc consists of working Groups made up of strategic leaders from Local Authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships, Universities and Local Nature Partnerships, working collaboratively across geographical, political and thematic boundaries. The Groups aim to:

  • Steer and guide the Arc collaboration effort being undertaken with Government to successfully define and develop the Oxford to Cambridge Arc;
  • Engage with Government to ensure that local and strategic interests are understood; and
  • Proactively lead the delivery of agreed commitments.

Realising these ambitions will require HM Government, local partners and businesses to take a long-term view in planning for the future. This should include protecting and enhancing the natural environment whilst delivering improved infrastructure, services and high-quality new homes which address housing affordability issues. The Government has made a financial and political commitment to the Arc through major infrastructure investment including East West Rail, supporting Local Industrial Strategies and planning for an Arc Local Natural Capital Plan.

Arc Governance and the role of the Future Oxfordshire Partnership

The purpose of the Arc Leadership Group is to enable strategic leaders from Local Authorities, Universities and Local Enterprise Partnerships across the Arc to steer and guide the Arc collaboration effort being undertaken with Government to define, develop and ensure success of the area. This group meets twice each year to set a forward plan in line with any agreed priorities.

A smaller Arc Leadership Executive Group made up of three Council Leaders appointed from each Growth Board within the Arc and key economic, university and health leads, works to ensure that the Arc Leadership Group is operating effectively. This smaller group engages with HM Government to ensure that local and strategic interests are understood and delivered on through the Forward Plan. Representatives from the Future Oxfordshire Partnership have an opportunity through the Arc to contribute ideas, challenge where necessary, and to promote local interests. Regular written updates on the work of the Arc are provided at Future Oxfordshire Partnership meetings.

Reference materials

Arc Joint Declaration of Ambition

Arc Terms of Reference

Ox-Cam Local Natural Capital Plan Website

Arc Economic Prospectus

Oxford to Cambridge Arc Environment Principles