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Future City Deal investment plan outlined

Published: Friday, February 17, 2017


An investment plan to meet longer term ambitions for a future Greater Cambridge are laid out in a report published today.

Proposals to commence work on a strategic plan to 2050 and a ‘movement and spaces’ research project in 2017 are among new bids for funding in the City Deal’s financial strategy.

The Executive Board will also be asked to scale-up Smart City innovations to the tune of £1.6m over the next three years, to keep the city region at the cutting edge of using of digital technology to fix people’s every-day problems such as how they get around.

Other key proposals include:

  • Investment to accelerate improved commuting choices including tackling city centre congestion, co-investment in electric vehicle charging points across the city, feasibility work into rural ‘travel hubs’ and an extensive ‘greenways’ cycle network in South Cambridgeshire.
  • Funding for a travel audit to improve commuting for workers, patients and visitors to Cambridge Biomedical Campus including plans for a new Cambridge South railway station.
  • Improved public information and engagement including development of a new website.
  • Financial backing for one more year for inward investment at Cambridge Promotions Agency and further support for a local skills service.

The submission seeks to draw on local funding pooled between the three partner councils and says extra investment now is an “appropriate strategy” to realise the long-term benefits for local communities that the City Deal is set to deliver.

“Allocating the City Deal’s resources in the right way is key to realise the opportunities the City Deal affords and achieve its objectives.

“It is also important to allocate resources to ensure investment advice and decision support enable the Executive Board to make informed decisions on the economic growth impacts of City deal investments and ensure they are delivered on track and on budget,” the report says.

The City Deal partnership between Cambridgeshire County Council, Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, the Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership and University of Cambridge is working to secure sustainable economic growth and quality of life for Greater Cambridge by unlocking new transport infrastructure, access to local housing and supporting a skilled labour force to meet business needs.

Up to £500m to 2031 has been secured from central Government to improve transport infrastructure with millions of further investment set to be triggered through local funding including developer contributions.

The benefits of investment in the Greater Cambridge economy for the wider region and the rest of the UK is set out in the City Deal’s proposed submission to influence the Government’s current Green Paper on the national post-Brexit industrial strategy.

A paper inviting discussion between City Deal partners says the City Deal response should emphasise:

“The importance of Greater Cambridge’s globally competitive cluster to the UK economy; the potential wealth that could flow to other parts of Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough and the wider UK from innovations and research that takes place in Greater Cambridge…and the need to underpin that research and innovation strength through continued support for infrastructure investment, access to skilled labour and research funding.”

These matters, together with the outcome of public consultation and next steps on plans to improve public transport and active travel commutes along the A1307 between Cambridge and Linton, will be considered at public meetings of the City Deal’s Joint Assembly and Executive Board on March 1 and 6 respectively.

The annual progress report shows the first phase of the programme remains on track and is already starting to deliver transport improvements, additional affordable housing and skills opportunities, including extra apprenticeships, in Greater Cambridge.

Note to Editors

  • Agenda and background papers can be found at http://scambs.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=1074&MId=6854&Ver=4
  • A report on next steps for the A1307 transport scheme will be published on Monday. Reports on Milton Road and Histon Road schemes have been deferred to meetings in June to allow officers time to carefully consider and assess detailed proposals put forward by the Local Liaison Forum.