Report looks at how City Deal is improving lives and laying foundations for future growth

Published 06 February 2024

Share this page Bookmark this page

A new report showing how the Greater Cambridge Partnership is improving people’s lives and laying the foundations for the future has been published.

With the City Deal approaching its second gateway review, a paper to the Joint Assembly, which meets later this month, asks members to reflect on how the GCP’s investment contributes to long-term prosperity and people’s quality of life.

The report uses a ‘balanced scorecard’ to measure the GCP’s impact in five key areas: the physical, natural, human, social and institutional capitals of the region.

This will be used to help understand the City Deal’s legacy and assist in the identification of new opportunities, and key areas and interventions that will be needed to support the growth planned across Greater Cambridge to 2050 and beyond.

Isobel Wade, assistant director for sustainable and inclusive growth, said:

“The investments made by the GCP are already improving people’s daily lives – from the delivery of the Chisholm Trail and Histon Road, through to the opportunities we have created for young people and the workforce through our skills contract.

“The report helps us to better understand the broader impacts of the City Deal, not just the improvements to physical infrastructure, but also how these schemes benefit the environment, improve people’s health, their access to work and education, and how we draw upon Greater Cambridge’s world-leading science and technology sectors to innovate.”

In delivering the City Deal signed with government in 2014, the GCP has established an ambitious programme of infrastructure improvements alongside significant investments in housing, cutting-edge technology and skills to improve people’s daily lives. Projects include:

  • Phase one of the flagship Chisholm Trail walking and cycling project, with thousands of people enjoying a new and direct link from Cambridge North station to Coldham’s Common via the new Abbey Chesterton Bridge over the River Cam. New analysis, as set out in the reports to the assembly, highlights how the trail has brought everyone living in the most deprived parts of the city within a 10-minute cycle of a rail station.
  • Improvements to bus, walking and cycling journeys as part of the award-winning Histon Road project which was completed in 2021. Construction is nearing completion on Milton Road which will provide similar upgrades for people’s journeys.
  • The City Access project, which includes the delivery of 32 new electric buses, free parking at the city’s Park & Ride sites and new cycle parking.
  • Bus priority measures and safety improvements along the A1307 as part of phase one of the Cambridge South East Transport (CSET) project.
  • New and enhanced walking and cycling routes through the Cross City Cycling project.
  • 152 additional parking spaces at the Babraham Road Park & Ride site.
  • 301 new homes through the Housing Development Agency, and piloting new housing units built using modern methods of construction.
  • 800 new apprenticeships and more than 10,000 students connected with employers through the GCP’s skills programme to help people learn new skills and find work.
  • Unlocking investment for the proposed construction of new substations to provide additional capacity for the region’s electricity grid to support new homes and jobs.
  • Putting Greater Cambridge at the forefront of innovation with the trial of autonomous vehicles, smart signals and providing real time travel data to people.

Further schemes to transform journeys and support the growth planned for the region are being developed, including new busways between Cambridge and growing communities in Cambourne, Waterbeach, the east and – subject to additional funding – CSET phase two.

Work on the Greater Cambridge Greenways – a 150km network of 12 walking, cycling and, where appropriate, equestrian routes to connect surrounding towns and villages to Cambridge to encourage more people to walk and cycle – also got underway last year. The report to the assembly includes new work highlighting opportunities that would enhance the greenways further, such as nature stops, bike maintenance points and play areas.

The Joint Assembly meeting will be held at 10.30am on 15 February at The Guildhall in Cambridge. The meeting will be streamed live on the GCP’s YouTube channel.

To view the papers to the Joint Assembly visit Cambridgeshire County Council’s website.