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ACTION NEEDED TO SUSTAIN GROWTH IN Cambridgeshire & Peterborough

09 May 2018

Cambridge UK: Wednesday 9th May 2018:

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER) has today published its interim report, which has been developed by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Commission (CPIEC).  

The report evidences the fast rate of economic and employment growth in the region, and highlights the importance of planning now to ensure that strong growth will be sustainable and more inclusive:

- The region enjoys a strong commercial culture with indigenous companies outstripping others in terms of revenue growth, however transport and employment modelling suggests the region could struggle to cope with continued rapid growth.

- There is a close correlation between the wealth of different areas and the presence of high skills, good health and quality of life. Strengthening human capital is central to future development.

The CPIEC’s initial call for evidence brought to light many different perspectives on the future of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, including: a real need for growth to be inclusive to ensure that everyone benefits, evidence that the skills system in many areas is not preparing people for the world of work (although there are positive counterexamples); a range of proposals for investment in transport and housing across the area, and the need to recognise the very different challenges facing the three identified economic areas within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Dame Kate Barker, Chair of the CPIEC commented: “The Commission is now roughly at the half way stage in the review process and to date we have gathered a great deal of evidence, both from existing and newly commissioned sources. To fulfil the overarching objectives of the review, we have taken full account of the views of the people, businesses and other organisations whose work contributes most to the creation of the economic future of the area.

“At this interim stage, we have used our baseline economic findings and these views to set out what we see as the most important challenges facing Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in the years ahead. The Commission believes these will need to be tackled if the area is to meet the goal set out in its Devolution Deal with Government to increase economic output by nearly 100% over the next 25 years, from £22bn to over £40bn.” 

The interim report lays the groundwork to inform a series of policy recommendations that will be made in the final report. The intention is that the analysis from the interim report will stimulate further debate across the region, encouraging individuals, businesses and other organisations to contribute to the development of the final report, due for publication later this year. 

We invite interested parties to comment on the interim report. Any responses, views and supplementary evidence should be submitted to the Commission at by 1700hrs on Friday 8th June.

The key questions the commission poses can be found at

The CPIEC will continue to meet through the spring and summer, considering all responses received, along with further evidence as it becomes available, supplemented by further stakeholder engagement. The final report will be written over the summer. It is expected to be published in September 2018. The objectives for the final report are to:

- model scenarios for the further development of the region to show the economic, social and environmental costs and benefits of each and make recommendations;
- define the doubling GVA target and comment on how best to achieve it;

- provide guidance and recommendations on future infrastructure priorities as well as possible funding mechanisms.

The CPIER has permanent representation from stakeholders right across the Combined Authority area and is jointly funded by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority and The Business Board, as well as by the business and academic member group, Cambridge Ahead.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER)
The purpose of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER) is to create a single strategic position to help the greater Cambridgeshire and Peterborough area consider the case for greater fiscal devolution and powers to unlock the delivery of major infrastructure, including showing how the area delivers benefits to the rest of UK.  It will provide a clear understanding of the priorities which can help business and political leaders in the area to unite behind a common strategy. Discover more at:

About Cambridge and Peterborough Independent Economic Commission (CPIEC)

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Commission (CPIEC) is a body that has been established with two main purposes. Firstly, the Commission has been established to deliver the CPIER, bringing the highest level of strategic economic advice in assessing the evidence and views of local partners in order to produce a review that meets the objectives of the key stakeholders. Secondly, the Commission will remain an authoritative voice for the needs of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough’s economy, continuing to provide strategic economic advice and guidance to inform decision making, policy development and investment locally. Find out more at:

About Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority

In November 2016, all eight organisations agreed to pursue the devolution deal made with Central Government. Following the signing of the Order by Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, the first official meeting of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority took place on 20th March 2017.  The Combined Authority is made up of representatives from eight organisations. These are Cambridge City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, East Cambridgeshire District Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, Peterborough City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council and the Business Board. On 5th May 2017 James Palmer was elected to be Mayor of the Combined Authority.

About The Business Board
The Business Board is a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is focused on enabling significant economic growth across the local area by providing visionary leadership and challenge to the Combined Authority, Government and other partners.

About Cambridge Ahead

Cambridge Ahead is a business and academic member group dedicated to the successful growth of Cambridge and its region in the long term. Its vision for Cambridge is to be the pre-eminent small city in the world. The group aims to represent the city’s business community and our partners who share its vision, by offering soundly-based opinion and be an advocate for Cambridge to local and national governments about the opportunities and needs of the region. Cambridge Ahead are politically non-aligned. Some of the largest and most influential organisations in the Cambridge region make up Cambridge Ahead’s membership, including ARM, AstraZeneca, Addenbrookes and Marshall of Cambridge. For more information visit