Westminster Business Forum's Developing the Oxford-MK-Cambridge Arc economy

Event Date: 
12 Sep 2019 - 09:00
Member Events

Westminster Business Forum policy conference

Developing the Oxford-MK-Cambridge Arc economy - collaboration, building on the region’s research base and delivering the Local Industrial Strategies



Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive, OxLEP and Chair, Productivity Group, Ox-Cambridge Arc



Roz BirdSilverstone ParkHilary ChippingSouth East Midlands Local Enterprise PartnershipMayor James PalmerCambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined AuthorityBill RammellUniversity of Bedfordshire;  Jo StevensOxford Innovation and senior speaker confirmed from East West Railway Company


Chaired by:

Anneliese Dodds MPMember of Parliament for Oxford East


Follow us @WBFEvents | This event is CPD certified


Morning, Thursday, 12th September 2019

Central London


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Note: fees apply to most delegates, but concessionary and complimentary places are available (subject to terms and conditions - see below).

*If you think it would be of interest to colleagues please feel free to share this email with them*


Dear Dr Mitchell


I am writing to invite you to attend the above conference, which will discuss the priorities for government and local partners as they collaborate to develop the Oxford-MK-Cambridge Arc region into a world-leading economic area.


As we expect discussion on protecting the environment and delivering the environmental ambitions of the recent joint declaration between Government and local partners, I thought this might be of interest.


It will bring together policymakers and stakeholders to consider the Local Industrial Strategies (LIS) for the areas that make up the Arc - Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, South East Midlands, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.


Delegates will also examine how the LISs will need to be brought together as part of the joint overarching economic vision for the Arc to achieve the ambitions - around productivity, place-making, connectivity and the environment.


The four Local Industrial Strategies and a single economic vision for the Arc

Sessions will focus on the challenges for bringing together the distinct priorities of each constituent part of the Arc into a coherent strategy for the Arc as a whole - including the new governance and joint working arrangements to deliver the plans.


We expect discussion on skills policy that will be needed for the region to meetthe aspirations of the economic vision for the Arc.


Attendees will also consider how to maximise the benefits of the significant infrastructure developments planned for the region, including East-West Rail, the Oxford-MK-Cambridge Expressway and the roll-out of both fibre broadband and 5G.


Innovation and maximising the Arc’s knowledge economy

Further sessions will discuss how to improve collaboration between universities and businesses across the Arc.

Delegates will assess the challenges for further development of the Arc’s clusters - including its seven Enterprise Zones - and how to achieve the ambitions in the joint declaration to position the Arc and its research and development resources to provide a testbed for new technologies.

We also expect discussion on the support available for SMEs in the supply chain to scale-up and increase exports.

The ‘Arc’ brand

The agenda also looks at how the Government and local partners can work together to market the Arc globally as a brand to attract businesses, investors, talent, and visitors, building on existing strengths of the region’s constituent areas and learning lessons from the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine concepts.

Agenda in summary

  • A single economic vision for the Oxford-MK-Cambridge Arc;
  • Bringing the four Local Industrial Strategies together - developing an approach to skills, infrastructure and business support across the Arc;
  • Building on the region’s research base - priorities for investing in new technologies, improving business-industry collaboration and developing clusters; and
  • Developing a brand for the Arc as a region and attracting inward investment.

The draft agenda is copied below my signature, and a regularly updated version is available to download here. The seminar is organised on the basis of strict impartiality by the Westminster Business Forum. Follow us @WBFEvents for live updates.


We are delighted to be able to include in this seminar a keynote address from:Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive, OxLEP and Chair, Productivity Group, Ox-Cambridge Arc.

Further confirmed speakers include: Roz Bird, Commercial Director, Innovation Centre, Silverstone Park; Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership; James Palmer, Mayor, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority; Bill Rammell, Vice-Chancellor, University of Bedfordshire and former Minister, Further and Higher Education, Department for Education (2005-08); Jo Stevens, Managing Director, Oxford Innovation and senior speaker confirmed from East West Railway Company.

Anneliese Dodds MP, Member of Parliament for Oxford East has kindly agreed to chair part of this seminar.

Additional senior participants are being approached.


This seminar will present an opportunity to engage with key policymakers and other interested parties, and is CPD certified (more details). Places have been reserved by officials from BEISDefraDfTDITGovernment Legal DepartmentMHCLG and the NAO. Also due to attend are representatives from Banbury & District Chamber of CommerceBarton WillmoreBMTBrown & Co BarfordsCambridgeshire County CouncilGeoSpockHertfordshire County Councili-TransportLDA Design ConsultingLeapLondon College of Fashion, UALMilton Keynes CouncilOwen MumfordOxfordshire County CouncilPeabodySkanskaSouth Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District CouncilSpacecraft ConsultingTaylor VintersThakehamThe Open UniversityThomas White Oxford;University of CambridgeWhitecap Consulting and Willmott Dixon.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed groupincluding Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior officials from BEIS, DCMS, HM Treasury and other relevant Departments, representatives from the local authorities within the Ox-Cam-MK Arc as well as directly adjacent areas, infrastructure providers, investors, colleges and universities, lawyers, businesses and industry associations, trade unions, academics and commentators, as well as reporters of the national and trade media.

Output and About Us

A key output of the seminar will be a transcript of the proceedings, sent out around 12 working days after the event to all attendees and a wider group of Ministers and officials at BEIS, MHCLG, Infrastructure Authority, Planning Inspectorate, Treasury and other government departments and agencies affected by the issues; and Parliamentarians with a special interest in these areas. It will also be made available more widely. This document will include transcripts of all speeches and questions and answers sessions from the day, along with access to PowerPoint presentations (subject to agreement with individual speakers), speakers’ biographies, an attendee list, an agenda, sponsor information, as well as any subsequent press coverage of the day and any articles or comment pieces submitted by delegates. It is made available subject to strict restrictions on public use, similar to those for Select Committee Uncorrected Evidence, and is intended to provide timely information for interested parties who are unable to attend on the day.

All delegates will receive complimentary PDF copies and are invited to contribute to the content.

The Westminster Business Forum is strictly impartial and cross-party, and draws on the considerable support it receives from within Parliament and Government, and amongst the wider stakeholder community. The Forum has no policy agenda of its own. Forum events are frequently the platform for major policy statements from senior Ministers, regulators and other officials, opposition speakers and senior opinion-formers in industry and interest groups. Events regularly receive prominent coverage in the national and trade media.

Booking arrangements

To book places, please use our online booking form.

Once submitted, this will be taken as a confirmed booking and will be subject to our terms and conditions below.

Please pay in advance by credit card on 01344 864796. If advance credit card payment is not possible, please let me know and we may be able to make other arrangements.

Options and charges are as follows:

  • Places at Developing the Oxford-MK-Cambridge Arc economy - collaboration, building on the region’s research base and delivering the Local Industrial Strategies (including refreshments and PDF copy of the transcripts) are £230 plus VAT;
  • Concessionary rate places for small charities, unfunded individuals and those in similar circumstances are £85 plus VAT. Please be sure to apply for this at the time of booking.

For those who cannot attend:

  • Copies of the briefing document, including full transcripts of all speeches and the questions and comments sessions and further articles from interested parties, will be available approximately 12 days after the event for £95 plus VAT;
  • Concessionary rate: £50 plus VAT.

If you find the charge for places a barrier to attending, please let me know as concessionary and complimentary places are made available in certain circumstances (but do be advised that this typically applies to individual service users or carers or the like who are not supported by or part of an organisation, full-time students, people between jobs or who are fully retired with no paid work, and representatives of small charities - not businesses, individuals funded by an organisation, or larger charities/not-for-profit companies). Please note terms and conditions below (including cancellation charges).