Westminster Business Forum

Developing the Oxford-MK-Cambridge Arc economy - collaboration, building on the region’s research base and delivering the Local Industrial Strategies

September 2019

This seminar discussed the priorities for government and local partners as they collaborate to develop the Oxford-MK-Cambridge Arc region into a world-leading economic area.

It brought together policymakers and stakeholders to consider the Local Industrial Strategies (LIS) for the areas that make up the Arc - Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, South East Midlands, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Delegates examined how the LISs will need to be brought together as part of the joint overarching economic vision for the Arc to achieve the ambitions - around productivity, place-making, connectivity and the environment - set out in the joint declaration between the Government and local partners.

Sessions focused on the challenges for bringing together the distinct priorities of each constituent part of the Arc into a coherent strategy for the Arc as a whole - including the new governance and joint working arrangements to deliver the plans.

There was discussion on skills policy that will be needed for the region to meet the aspirations of the economic vision for the Arc.

Attendees also considered how to maximise the benefits of the significant infrastructure developments planned for the region, including East-West Rail, the Oxford-MK-Cambridge Expressway and the roll-out of both fibre broadband and 5G.

Further sessions discussed how to improve collaboration between universities and businesses across the Arc.

Delegates assessed the challenges for further development of the Arc’s clusters - including its seven Enterprise Zones - and how to achieve the ambitions in the joint declaration to position the Arc and its research and development resources to provide a testbed for new technologies.

The agenda also looked at how Government and local partners can work together to market the Arc globally as a brand to attract businesses, investors, talent, and visitors, building on existing strengths of the region’s constituent areas and learning lessons from the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine concepts.

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Business Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates