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New infrastructure needed for Oxford-Cambridge Arc to reach its potential

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The Oxford-Cambridge Arc has the potential to create up to 1.1 million new jobs by 2050 if the new infrastructure needed is delivered, according to research from Savills. It says an additional 9.6 million sq ft of office and R&D floorspace and 69 million sq ft of warehousing will be needed to facilitate the growth. The pharmaceutical, cybersecurity, automotive and biotech sectors are likely to remain the leading growth sectors.

And whilst Oxford and Cambridge continue to attract the largest share of private equity and venture capital investment, new floorspace in Bedford and Milton Keynes – where a new university is opening in 2023 - should widen the distribution. Funding in the region has risen from £10.2 billion in 2018 to £27.4 billion to the end of the third quarter 2019 and venture capital investment has risen from £861 million to £1,076 million over the same period.

Steve Lang, director in Savills research team, said: “An increase in overall investment into the tech and life science sectors within the arc is a strong indication of potential future real estate requirements. What’s clear is that there is a need for choice in terms of scale, price points and location when it comes to commercial space in order to facilitate this growth within the region and to ensure the UK remains attractive to global businesses.”

The report adds that if the government’s ambition for 1 million new homes across the arc by 2050 is to be reached a co-ordinated response from local authorities is key and the green belt is an additional challenge in certain places.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 November 2019 09:09 )