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Michael Gove gives green light to Oxford-Cambridge partnership

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Proposals for a locally led partnership for the Oxford to Cambridge region has been given the green light by government.

Backing for the pan-regional partnership unlocks access to up to £2.5million government funding for the partnership to support its priorities in delivering sustainable growth and environmental enhancements for the region.

Secretary of State Rt Hon Michael Gove MP has confirmed support for the partnership.

The partnership’s role will be to champion the region as a world leader of innovation and business, acting to achieve environmentally sustainable and inclusive growth.

It will strengthen cross-boundary collaboration among its partners to focus on tackling the issues that matter to the people who live and work in the region.

The partnership’s initial programme is to:

  • develop a set of propositions to attract international investment and profile the region on a global stage; and
  • continue the work underway to embed shared Environment Principles.

Following the official commitment from government, the partnership will begin active recruitment of an independent chair.

In the interim, a shadow board has been set up to oversee the partnership’s programme and agree governance and funding.

Chair of the Shadow Board, Cllr Barry Wood, leader of Cherwell District Council, Oxfordshire, said: “We believe that by working together the whole Oxford to Cambridge region can be greater than the sum of its parts.

“With official status as a pan-regional partnership backed by government, we can unlock potential and further strengthen our area’s position as a hub of innovation; a globally recognised region of science and technology that delivers prosperity for our communities.”

Deputy Mayor Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, Cllr Anna Smith said: “Collaboration and cooperation are key to unlocking the potential of Cambridge, Oxford and the communities that connect them.

“The pan-regional partnership is key to that work, and I am delighted that the government is recognising this.

“I welcome the funding that the government has now set aside to support this work, and hope that this is just the start of more meaningful national investment in our region.

“Because it is only through working together, investing in the future, and supporting our communities, that we can achieve greater sustainability, equality and growth.”

The Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, Cllr Bridget Smith, said: “Councils are always more effective when they work together and with government to solve the big and difficult problems.

“The announcement of the government’s commitment to a partnership of councils, universities, and the business sector from Oxford to Cambridge is very welcome as it increases the opportunities, we have to work together to tackle climate change and our future economic success.

“There will now be a process of transition whilst the new board and independent chair are appointed.”

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