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Action needed to sustain growth in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

Posted On: Wednesday 9 May 2018

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER) has today published its interim report, which has been developed by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Commission (CPIEC).  

The report evidences the fast rate of economic and employment growth in the region, and highlights the importance of planning now to ensure that strong growth will be sustainable and more inclusive:

  • The region enjoys a strong commercial culture with indigenous companies outstripping others in terms of revenue growth, however transport and employment modelling suggests the region could struggle to cope with continued rapid growth.
  • There is a close correlation between the wealth of different areas and the presence of high skills, good health and quality of life. Strengthening human capital is central to future development.

The CPIEC’s initial call for evidence brought to light many different perspectives on the future of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, including: a real need for growth to be inclusive to ensure that everyone benefits, evidence that the skills system in many areas is not preparing people for the world of work (although there are positive counterexamples); a range of proposals for investment in transport and housing across the area, and the need to recognise the very different challenges facing the three identified economic areas within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Dame Kate Barker, Chair of the CPIEC commented: “The Commission is now roughly at the half way stage in the review process and to date we have gathered a great deal of evidence, both from existing and newly commissioned sources. To fulfil the overarching objectives of the review, we have taken full account of the views of the people, businesses and other organisations whose work contributes most to the creation of the economic future of the area.

“At this interim stage, we have used our baseline economic findings and these views to set out what we see as the most important challenges facing Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in the years ahead. The Commission believes these will need to be tackled if the area is to meet the goal set out in its Devolution Deal with Government to increase economic output by nearly 100% over the next 25 years, from £22bn to over £40bn.” 

The interim report lays the groundwork to inform a series of policy recommendations that will be made in the final report. The intention is that the analysis from the interim report will stimulate further debate across the region, encouraging individuals, businesses and other organisations to contribute to the development of the final report, due for publication later this year.

Interested parties are now invited to comment on the interim report. Any responses, views and supplementary evidence should be submitted to the Commission at evidence@cpier.org.uk by 1700hrs on Friday 8th June. The key questions the commission poses can be found at www.cpier.org.uk/contribute

The CPIEC will continue to meet through the spring and summer, considering all responses received, along with further evidence as it becomes available, supplemented by further stakeholder engagement. The final report will be written over the summer. It is expected to be published in September 2018. The objectives for the final report are to:

  • model scenarios for the further development of the region to show the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of each and make recommendations;
  • define the doubling GVA target and comment on how best to achieve it;
  • provide guidance and recommendations on future infrastructure priorities as well as possible funding mechanisms.

The CPIER has permanent representation from stakeholders right across the Combined Authority area and is jointly funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and The Business Board, as well as by the business and academic member group, Cambridge Ahead.

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