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Oxfordshire remains a 'global asset' with 'place at its heart' - says local enterprise partnership chief executive

Published on: 12/04/2018

The importance of creating a sense of ‘place’ 

The Chief Executive of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) has said that the county continues to reaffirm its position as a ‘global asset’ whilst recognising the importance of place and community at its heart.

Nigel Tipple’s assessment follows several recent fiscal reports suggesting Oxfordshire – and in particular, Oxford – is in a strong position to drive sustainable growth whilst having a significant economic impact on the international stage.

Some of the most recent findings – published in global consultancy firm Arcadis’ ‘Investing in Britain’ report – cited Oxford as the second-best city in the UK for growth potential.

The report considered the city’s ability to contribute to the national economy across several key areas, including ultrafast broadband access and time to the nearest operating airport.

Further findings backing Mr Tipple’s view include last autumn’s Oxfordshire Transformative Technology Alliance's science and innovation audit.

The audit identified quantum computers, autonomous vehicles, digital health and space and satellites as key strengths of Oxfordshire’s science and innovation ‘ecosystem’.

Through the technologies, the audit added Oxfordshire could play a major global role in driving forward the UK economy through these four transformative technologies – which, if fully-utilised, could be worth in the region of £180billion to the UK by 2030, around six per cent of the global economy in these technologies.

It also follows Chancellor Philip Hammond’s £215million investment commitment – the Oxfordshire housing and growth deal – which aims to boost infrastructure and productivity in Oxfordshire.

And the Government is also set to review recommendations made by the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), following its report detailing opportunities across the ‘Oxford-Cambridge Corridor’.

Mr Tipple said: “It is clear to see that many professional organisations view Oxfordshire as a global asset, underpinning the UK economy and a place of opportunity for residents and businesses alike – particularly given the Prime Minister’s desire, based on her 2017 election manifesto, to ensure our economy has a global future, encouraging trade and creating the right conditions with countries away from the EU.

“What this means for our businesses and world-class assets is new opportunities to develop markets, particularly through collaboration across the emerging Oxford-Cambridge Corridor and supported by our Local Industrial Strategy.”

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