Paul Basham Associates were quick off the mark in attending the inaugural conference of England’s Economic Heartland (EEH) at Silverstone. EEH is an alliance of 9 Local Authorities and 4 Local Enterprise Partnerships covering the key growth corridor between Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
With a population of approximately 3.5 million and 1.64 million jobs, the area contributes £92.5bn GVA annually to the UK economy. The alliance hopes to guide the development of strategic infrastructure to support the additional 1 million houses and 400,000 jobs planned up to 2051.
Speakers at the conference, held at Silverstone, included various council and LEP leaders, Phil Graham, the Chief Executive of the National Infrastructure Commission and Andrew Jones MP, Parliament under Secretary of State for Transport. Topics covered included ‘Transport as an Enabler,’ ‘Emerging Thinking on Infrastructure in the Alliance Area,’ and £625,000 of government funding was announced for EEH. The eventual aim of the alliance is to become a sub-national transport body for the area, guiding investment towards a number of key objectives, backed by central government.
Paul Basham Associates were pleased to hear more about the emerging proposals for East West Rail and the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, which have the potential to improve east-west connectivity and support economic development. The large-scale collaborative working across businesses and councils behind EEH will continue to drive the region forward, and ensure that transformative transport schemes such as those mentioned above reach the finish line.