Cambridge - Milton Keynes - Oxford: 'Growth Corridor'
In March 2016, the Chancellor of the Exchequer asked The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) to make recommendations (to government) on how to maximize the potential of the Cambridge - Milton Keynes - Oxford Corridor as a single, knowledge intensive cluster that competes on the global stage, whilst protecting the area’s high quality environment and securing the homes and job the area needs.
The NIC will look at the priority infrastructure improvements needed and assess the economic case for which investments would generate the most growth.
As home to four of the UK’s fastest growing towns and cities already, as well as globally-renowned centres of research expertise and advanced manufacturing, this Corridor combines strong potential for growth with important long-term challenges:
- Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Oxford have some of the highest levels of productivity in the UK compared to other cities. Northampton has been identified as the city with the highest rate of business start-ups in the country outside London;
- the populations of cities across the Corridor are highly skilled. Cambridge, Oxford and Milton Keynes rank first, second and seventeenth in UK for the percentage of their populations holding qualifications at NVQ4 level or above;
- Oxford and Cambridge universities rank among the top 5 in the world; the two cities are home to over 3,000 technology firms. The Corridor hosts the UK’s £9 billion motor sport industry;
- since the early 1980s the population of Milton Keynes has more than doubled. Oxford and Cambridge have grown by between 20% and 30%;
- house prices in Oxford and Cambridge rank second and third among UK cities behind London, while Oxford and Cambridge rank as first and third highest unaffordable cities, with London second;
- commuting across the Corridor is relatively limited, although commuting from both Oxford and Cambridge to London is circa ten times greater than to other cities in the Corridor.