CPCA release broader economic plan to which CW & ARU's Digital Sector Strategy contributed

Published on 19 Jul 2019

In March, CW & Anglia Ruskin University produced the Digital Sector Strategy for the Combined Authority which has been incorporated into this broader Local Industrial Strategy.

A new economic blueprint for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has been unveiled, designed to maximise productivity and innovation in the area’s leading life sciences, food production, artificial intelligence and advanced manufacturing sectors.

The new Local Industrial Strategy aims to harness the full potential of innovation in the region and features a Skills and Apprenticeships Hub to support the local community.  

Developed in collaboration with local leaders, government and businesses - including CW, Anglia Ruskin University, and the Commission of business and academic experts that we convened to build the Digital Sector Strategy - the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Industrial Strategy sets out how the area will contribute towards delivering the national Industrial Strategy’s aim to raise productivity levels and create high-quality, well paid jobs across the country. As can be expected, the development of the combined authority area's ICT / digital economy featured high on the list of priorities for the region. Specific recommendations include:

  • to establish Greater Cambridge and the Arc as the preferred global base for firms from across the world to create and adopt the technologies of tomorrow.
  • the Combined Authority will host a global artificial intelligence conference in Greater Cambridge.  This represents a significant opportunity to increase the sector’s growth both within the local economy and across the Arc and the UK.
  • a look at the development of digital skills, including changes to the devolved adult education budget, the new university in Peterborough and the creation of a Skills, Telent and Apprenticeship Hub
  • improve the long-term capacity for growth in Cambridge to enable continued growth, including mitigating restraints on housing, transport and energy capacity that otherwise might hinder the development of its digital businesses
  • increase / improve engagement in STEM subjects in schools/colleges
  • work with local partners to identify and diffuse best practice on digital infrastructure planning. This will aim to support industry to accelerate the roll-out of full fibre networks, enabling accelerated growth of 5G.
  • introduce 400 Global Growth Champions targeting the digital and life science sectors

The first Local Industrial Strategy for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will help create the conditions to achieve our ambition of doubling economic output and ensuring future prosperity is felt by more people.  This bold strategy has clear actions to help firms grow, become more productive and increase local and global reach, while fostering and sustaining broad-based growth across our economy for years to come.  And it is about putting people first, by underpinning our economy with better infrastructure and transport links and delivering the skills our workforce needs to secure higher quality, better paid jobs while boosting productivity. We now have a strategy which recognises the strengths and challenges of our sub-economies of the Fens, Greater Peterborough and Greater Cambridge, delivering a ambitious and joined-up masterplan that works for people and enterprise.

Mayor of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, James Palmer

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough plan includes: 

  • a new Skills, Talent and Apprenticeship Hub to support the local community by connecting employers, providers, and learners
  • working with local partners to develop the infrastructure to support growth. Local partners will progress key infrastructure projects to support the expansion of the region’s innovation powerhouse: Cambridge

Businesses throughout our area already make an incredible contribution to the wealth of UK Plc but this is the first time we have set out a strategy that will help ensure their global competitiveness in the years to come.  This is about fostering the conditions in which the innovative, dynamic and energetic enterprises that are a hallmark of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough economy can continue to thrive.  We have diverse and distinct economic sub-regions in our area, but what is really exciting is how this new strategy both seeks to enhance their strengths and tackle any challenges to growth head-on, creating the foundation for business success everywhere.”

Professor Aamir Khalid, Chair of The Business Board of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

The government’s modern Industrial Strategy is the flagship economic policy which backs businesses to create high-quality, well paid jobs throughout the United Kingdom, and invests in skills, innovation and infrastructure. 

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