Category Archives: Press Releases

Five New Regional Economic Blueprints Launched In Boost To Jobs And Growth

Five new Local Industrial Strategies offer economic blueprints for trailblazing areas

Department for Innovation & Skills

Department for Innovation & Skills

  • New plans for areas across Oxford-Cambridge Arc and West of England unveiled today, to boost productivity and economic growth
  • Each Strategy sets out a plan to back businesses in each area to boost people’s earning power while creating high-quality, well paid jobs

A series of local economic blueprints have been unveiled today (Friday 19 July), setting out plans for how to boost the earning power and opportunities of people and businesses as part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy.

Demonstrating the unique strengths of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc area and its local economies, Government has published four Local Industrial Strategies covering Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Oxfordshire and the South East Midlands.

The Government has also published the West of England Local Industrial Strategy, looking at how to most effectively build on the creativity, collaboration and ingenuity of the region, as well as setting a clear strategy that addresses existing barriers to productivity.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

Local Industrial Strategies are fundamental to our aim of creating prosperous communities across the country. The plans unveiled today will help to deliver real benefits to people while driving investment and supporting businesses to create thriving local economies.

Today’s economic blueprints, spanning the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and the West of England, follow similar agreements in Greater Manchester and the West Midlands. This helps meet a key ambition of our modern Industrial Strategy – driving growth and spreading opportunities across all regions of the UK.

Developed by Local Enterprise Partners (LEPs) and Mayoral Combined Authorities, in collaboration with local leaders, local authorities, businesses, and the Government, each Local Industrial Strategies set out how the areas will deliver the national Industrial Strategy’s aim to raise productivity levels and to create high-quality, well paid jobs.

Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry, MP said:

The five Local Industrial Strategies released today will unlock the economic potential of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and the West of England.

These ambitious projects will create well-paid jobs, improve digital connectivity and help communities in the area to thrive and prosper.

These Local Industrial Strategies are about empowering local people and making sure the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and the West of England play a central role in building a high-performing economy that works for everyone, no matter where they live.

Oxford-Cambridge Arc

Each of the four Local Industrial Strategies covering the Oxford-Cambridge Arc has a different focus, reflecting the unique nature of their local economies:

  • Buckinghamshire aims to grow the county’s creative, space, advanced manufacturing and digital health sectors, building on the world-leading assets it already has such as the Westcott Space Cluster and Pinewood Studios.
  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will help grow an industrial ecosystem that is globally known for tackling the biggest challenges facing society, with interventions tailored to the needs of each of its sub-economies: Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough and The Fens.
  • Oxfordshire plans to build on the county’s world leading science and tech clusters to be a pioneer for transformative technologies and sectors, with its overarching ambition for the county to be a top three global innovation ecosystem by 2040.
  • The South East Midlands’ overarching ambition is to position the area as the ‘Connected Core’ of the Arc, a place with the right R&D assets, business environment and networks to foster, test and commercialise new innovations.

These Local Industrial Strategies also mark a major contribution to the Government’s wider work on the Arc, with their focus on driving productivity by outlining shared priorities across the region. These include:

  • Harnessing the collective strength of the Arc’s research base – driving greater collaboration on science and research and growing the role of the Arc as a global research and innovation hub.
  • Bringing employers and skills providers together to understand the current and future skills needs, and planning provision to meet them.
  • Maximising the economic benefits of planned transport, energy and digital infrastructure within the Arc.
  • Developing an improved business support and finance programme for high growth companies, a shared approach to commercial premises and an Internationalisation Delivery Plan to encourage greater trade and inward investment in the Arc.
  • Co-designing a Natural Capital Planning approach to development within the Arc, seeking to embody Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and contributing to the Clean Growth Grand Challenge Mission to halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030.
West of England

Developed in collaboration with local leaders, Government and businesses, the West of England 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.

To ensure continued success for the region, four key priorities are identified in the Strategy:

Strengthening innovation and driving productivity by:

  • Connecting researchers, businesses and residents through a Global Centre of Innovation Excellence to focus the region’s innovative strengths on globally and nationally significant challenges.
  • Developing, testing and preparing for market new products and services through a new West of England Network of Living Labs.

Supporting all residents to contribute to and benefit from economic success by:

  • Targeting support to communities facing challenges.
  • Tailoring employment and skills support so that businesses can find the talent they need.
  • Linking everyone to jobs, training and services through better physical and digital infrastructure, that is accessible, sustainable and low carbon.

Providing businesses with the space, networks and skills they need to boost productivity, grow and thrive by:

  • Encouraging uptake of modern technology, management and leadership practices to lift employee wellbeing, productivity and exports.
  • Including more regional providers in businesses’ supply chains and widening access to public procurement for small businesses.
  • Supporting and incentivising companies towards low carbon business models.

Investing in infrastructure that reduces energy demand, lowers carbon emissions and is resilient to the impacts of climate change.

  • Supporting businesses to adopt new clean technology and energy efficiency measures.
  • Building new carbon-neutral homes, using modern methods of construction and other housing innovations.

Creativity At Heart Of West Of England Local Industrial Strategy

The West of England Local Industrial Strategy encourages sectors to collaborate to help boost productivity and opportunities for all

Department for Innovation & Skills

Department for Innovation & Skills

Creativity, collaboration and ingenuity are unique strengths the West of England will build on to secure clean growth to benefit all residents through a new economic blueprint published today.

That’s the aim set out in the West of England Local Industrial Strategy, developed by the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership, working with regional businesses and organisations, as well as central government.

The 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.

Chris Skidmore, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, said:

“From robots to animation through to aerospace, the West of England has a strong, diverse and increasingly green economy.

“This Local Industrial Strategy ensures the innovation, skills and creativity of every place in the West of England are harnessed, benefiting everyone working and living in the area.”

Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said:

“From the days of Brunel, through to the latest developments in robotics and virtual reality, the West of England has been at the cutting edge of technology.

“Across our towns and cities, there is an independence of spirit and pride in the diversity, creativity and ingenuity of communities. Our Local Industrial Strategy sets out how we will work together to build on those strengths.

“As the world changes around us, we need this plan to make sure we stay ahead of the curve, creating a stronger economy and a better place to live and work for all.”

Professor Steve West, Chairman of the Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

“Our region is a place where ideas flourish and businesses grow, where creative, digital and high tech meet traditional industry.

“The Local Industrial Strategy is important to everybody. It’s about the way we live, the way we work, the environment we live in, the way we socialise, and how those things come together to create an environment that allows people to prosper.”

Minister for Local Growth, Jake Berry, MP said:

“I welcome the launch of the first Local Industrial Strategy in the West of England which will support a wide range of pioneering, innovative projects from the creation of bionic limbs to exploring green technology and constructing environmentally friendly homes.

“Meeting the priorities outlined in this strategy will enable businesses to adapt to new technology, create well-paid jobs and equip people with the skills they need to thrive in the global digital economy.”

The West of England Local Industrial Strategy also identifies the challenges that need to be addressed to realise the area’s full potential, including improving small firm productivity, ensuring the workforce has the skills needed and the delivery of clean, inclusive growth of the region.

It sets out how the area will bring its world leading sectors together to promote cross-sectoral collaboration to address national and international challenges.

This includes looking at developing a smart region which is more in tune with the needs of its residents, one that uses the region’s digital expertise to improve connectivity, and that can provide homes that house the ageing population for longer while being built more cheaply, quickly and more energy efficiently.

It will also ensure people have the skills that businesses need to support the region’s ambitions, while also making sure people in the West of England have access to opportunities, both of which will help deliver the national Industrial Strategy’s aim to raise productivity levels and create high-quality, well paid jobs.

To ensure continued success for the region, four key priorities are identified in the strategy:

Strengthening innovation and driving productivity by:

  • Connecting researchers, businesses and residents through a Global Centre of Innovation Excellence to focus the region’s innovative strengths on globally and nationally significant challenges
  • Developing, testing and preparing for market new products and services through a new West of England Network of Living Labs

Supporting all residents to contribute to and benefit from economic success by:

  • Targeting support to communities facing challenges
  • Tailoring employment and skills support so that businesses can find the talent they need
  • Linking everyone to jobs, training and services through better physical and digital infrastructure, that is accessible, sustainable and low carbon

Providing businesses with the space, networks and skills they need to boost productivity, grow and thrive by:

  • Encouraging uptake of modern technology, management and leadership practices to lift employee wellbeing, productivity and exports
  • Including more regional providers in businesses’ supply chains and widening access to public procurement for small businesses
  • Supporting and incentivising companies towards low carbon business models

Investing in infrastructure that reduces energy demand, lowers carbon emissions and is resilient to the impacts of climate change by:

  • Supporting businesses to adopt new clean technology and energy efficiency measures
  • Building new carbon-neutral homes, using modern methods of construction and other housing innovations Local Industrial Strategies represent the response of places across the country to how they will deliver for the national Industrial Strategy

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.

New Economic Plan To Super-Charge Space And Creative Sectors In Buckinghamshire

Plan sets out how the area will maximise the economic opportunities of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc

Department for Innovation & Skills

Department for Innovation & Skills

  • Local Industrial Strategy confirms Buckinghamshire’s ambitions to help leading sectors like space and creative industries capture the world stage
  • Business Minister Lord Henley met Buckinghamshire leaders today to discuss how the plans will boost productivity and earning potential

A new economic blueprint for Buckinghamshire, designed to grow the area’s creative, space, advanced manufacturing and digital health capability on the world stage, has been unveiled today (Friday 19 July).

Developed in collaboration with local leaders, including Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, local authorities, businesses, and Government, the Buckinghamshire Local Industrial Strategy sets out how the area will deliver the national Industrial Strategy’s aim to raise productivity levels and to create high-quality, well paid jobs across the country.

UK Space Agency recently invested £4.12 million in Westcott Venture Park to develop the National Space Propulsion Test Facility, and today’s new strategy sets out how the cluster will get to the next level, addressing skills shortages for technicians and propulsion test specialists.

Buckinghamshire’s world-leading creative businesses like Pinewood Studios are also highlighted as a key asset and enabler of growth in the sector, with the next James Bond film currently being filmed in Iver Heath.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said:

Buckinghamshire already has world-leading assets and strengths, ranging from Pinewood studios and the next James Bond film, to an innovative space sector testing new and emerging technologies.

Today’s Local Industrial Strategy – one of four published across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc – will build on this and its position as the fourth most productive area in England, while also opening up new job opportunities for people across the county and beyond.

Andrew M. Smith, Chair of Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said:

We have embraced the opportunity to work with Government to deliver one of the first trailblazing Local Industrial Strategies in the country, to help drive the Buckinghamshire economy to further increase innovation, support international trade and improve connectivity to help all businesses deliver their full economic potential.

Buckinghamshire has many world leading businesses and business clusters operating at the heart of the Oxford to Cambridge Growth Arc.

Many of these including, Robert Bosch, Silverstone, GE Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Boundless Productions and Pinewood Studios are operating at the heart of the automotive technologies, life-science and creative industry sectors and will be critical in delivering the success of our strategy.

The Oxfordshire, South East Midlands, and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Industrial Strategies have also been published today, demonstrating the economic strength of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc area collectively.

To coincide with the launch of the Local Industrial Strategies, Business Minister Lord Henley met representatives from across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc today to discuss how the four strategies launched today will help to deliver the Government’s national Industrial Strategy ambitions.

More than 100 organisations, including the leaders of the county’s local authorities, have worked together to develop the Buckinghamshire Local Industrial Strategy in collaboration with the Government.

It builds on its four big economic assets in the space, creative, advanced engineering and digital health sectors.

The plan includes:

  • a long-term investment plan for Westcott Space Cluster to develop new research and development facilities and a base manufacturing excellence in space propulsion and in-orbit maintenance, and to address skills shortages for technicians and propulsion test specialists
  • a new Screen Industries Global Growth Hub at Pinewood Studios to provide support to creative businesses
  • using Silverstone Park and technology cluster to stimulate high tech cross-overs, supporting emerging technologies through improving links between firms, improving links between businesses and universities, and improving networking across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc
  • digital health, med-tech and advanced artificial intelligence – building on assets including Stoke Mandeville Spinal Centre, Buckinghamshire Life Sciences Innovation Centre

Lord Henley, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, said:

Local Industrial Strategies are about celebrating the unique strengths of places across the country, so it was great to meet business leaders from across Buckinghamshire today to understand how they are going to put this new, Government-backed economic plan into action.

Our modern Industrial Strategy aims to raise productivity levels and to create high-quality, well paid jobs, and this Local Industrial Strategy outlines how we will do that for people in Buckinghamshire.

Alan Cox, Chief Commercial Officer, Satellite Application Catapult, said:

The Satellite Application Catapult have enjoyed being part of the Buckinghamshire Local Industrial Strategy development process, it has enabled us to be absolutely clear about the scale of opportunity and develop a jointly agreed plan of action with Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership and other national and international partners to unlock the potential of the Westcott Venture Park and Enterprise Zone site.

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse said:

People deserve to live in thriving, prosperous communities where there are great job opportunities, high quality affordable homes and local leaders with strategies to boost economic growth in bold and innovative ways.

The four Local Industrial Strategies mark a momentous time for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and will maximise the undoubted potential of the region. That’s demonstrated by the sheer range of plans covered by the strategies – whether it be developing future generations via a Skills Apprenticeship Hub, improving social mobility, or entertaining film lovers with productions from the world-famous Pinewood Studios.

It’s time to roll up our sleeves and work with communities and local leaders to realise their ambitions and also build more, better, faster, providing one million new homes across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc by 2050.

Through Local Industrial Strategies, local partners will work together to harness the collective strength of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc’s research base to drive greater collaboration on science and research, bring employers and providers together to understand and meet skills needs and develop improved support for business across the Arc as a whole.

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.

How To Define A Public Service Mutual: Public Consultation Launched

A consultation on the definition of public service mutuals in order to provide clarity and increase understanding amongst the sector, has been launched

Paper People

Paper People

  • Civil Society Minister Mims Davies has launched a consultation on the definition of public service mutuals in order to provide clarity and increase understanding amongst the sector.
  • The call for evidence aims to help public sector commissioners in particular who award contracts, and grow the role of mutual organisations.

Public service mutuals are currently defined as organisations that have left the public sector but continue to deliver public services, and have a significant degree of employee ownership, influence or control. However evidence suggests this current definition is misunderstood and unclear, and needs updating to reflect the changing public service delivery landscape. The public consultation will aim to:

  • Strengthen the understanding of ‘public service mutuals’. Doing this will give public service commissioners and broader stakeholders increased confidence that mutuals represent the values government wants to see in public service delivery.
  • Provide greater clarity for social sector organisations on what requirements are needed to be considered a public service mutual.
  • Raise awareness and understanding of the benefits of the mutuals model, informing decisions about who delivers public services.

Mims Davies, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said:

We know that mutuals have more engaged staff, increased productivity and deliver more innovative services and this is why we’ve been supporting the growth of mutuals over the last ten years.

We need to make sure we have a clear understandable and updated definition to increase confidence in the sector which can inspire further growth over the coming years.

The consultation will be open for 12 weeks following which the government will publish a revised definition that reflects current priorities for public services.

Further Information

More detail including the consultation document can be found here.

Dstl Acquires First Satellite Ground Control Station

The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has acquired its first satellite ground control station to support future space research activities for the Ministry of Defence (MOD)

Dstl's satellite ground control station

Dstl’s satellite ground control station

Based at Portsdown West, Hampshire, the ground station will use its 6.3m diameter antenna to direct satellites in both low-Earth and geosynchronous orbits, and will form a core part of the Dstl Space Science & Technology (S&T) programme.

Scientists from Dstl’s Space Group will develop and test software for satellite operations, and train civilian and military personnel in satellite mission operations. Towards the end of 2019, the ground station will task its first satellites, before progressing to control multiple satellite missions and other ground assets by 2021.

This ground station represents the first of a number of significant steps in conducting in-orbit research and concept demonstrator missions for the benefit of the MOD to better understand the space domain to enable freedom of action for future UK operations. This includes the protection of UK operations against emerging space-based threats.

Dstl Chief Executive, Gary Aitkenhead, said:

Dstl is building world-class expertise in developing systems for the space environment. Creating a ground infrastructure for future Space S&T missions is a key milestone in the continued rapid growth in our Space programme, supporting both Dstl, our colleagues across the MOD, and our other national and international partners.

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