Developing a local industrial strategy for Buckinghamshire

Buckinghamshire Thames Valley LEP is developing one of the country’s first local industrial strategies. One of a family of strategies covering the Oxford – Milton Keynes – Cambridge Corridor, the Buckinghamshire Local Industrial Strategy (LIS) will set out a programme of activity to ensure that the county’s economic assets contribute more to the national and local economies.

On this page we answer four key questions:

 

  • What is a local industrial strategy?
  • What are the economic assets that the Buckinghamshire LIS will focus on?
  • What are the next steps in developing the Buckinghamshire LIS?
  • How can people get involved in the process?

What is a local industrial strategy?

We are clear that the Buckinghamshire Local Industrial Strategy will focus on how to strengthen and exploit the country’s most important economic assets, assets that are distinctive to Buckinghamshire and are significant nationally and internationally. Our strategy will be delivery focussed, but it will be much more than a bidding document. It will identify action to develop those assets and secure maximum benefit from them for the national and local economies.

The Buckinghamshire LIS will in effect form a local chapter of the Government’s national industrial strategy, including its focus on four grand challenges facing the UK: artificial intelligence and the data economy; clean growth; the future of mobility and the ageing society. The Local Industrial Strategy will also exploit Buckinghamshire’s location at the centre of the Oxford to Cambridge Growth Corridor.

What are the economic assets that the Buckinghamshire LIS will focus on?

Our early discussions about what those assets might be have led us to identify two types of asset: some based around particular sectors and capabilities, organisations and places; and others based on cross cutting drivers which contribute to a greater or lesser extent to each of the assets.

In thinking about Buckinghamshire’s economic assets we found an analogy using islands and the seabed helpful. The islands are the sectors, capabilities and place-based assets while the cross-cutting drivers are the sea-bed, linking and under-pinning the other assets.

Our emerging list of economic islands comprises:

 

  • The creative and digital economy with Pinewood Studios at its core;
  • Intelligent mobility, developing capabilities across the supply chain exploiting the opportunities along the Oxford – Milton Keynes – Cambridge Corridor;
  • Medical technologies exploiting the international status of Stoke Mandeville and the expertise of the counties two universities;
  • Silverstone’s position at the core of a high performance technology hub;
  • The role of the Buckinghamshire Thames Valley-Westcott cluster as a key link in the UK space sector supply chain.

The most important features of the seabed include:

 

  • The rich foundation of entrepreneurialism in Buckinghamshire bolstered by the business and knowledge transfer focus of the two universities and access to the assets in Oxford and Cambridge;
  • The economic opportunities presented by the major housing growth planned for the county, including possibilities around living laboratories and new construction technologies;
  • Buckinghamshire’s digital science capabilities, which are crucially important to each of its economic assets;
  • Moving towards ‘intelligent public services’ in order to use cutting edge innovation to deliver public services and support the commercialisation of ideas;
  • Buckinghamshire’s agile education institutions comprising two young universities and a federation of colleges;
  • Infrastructure development surrounding Buckinghamshire at a scale that is unprecedented and includes HS2, Heathrow expansion and East-West Rail;
  • Buckinghamshire's very attractive environment and high quality of life.

What are the next steps in developing the Buckinghamshire LIS?

BTVLEP has commissioned Shared Intelligence to help it to prepare its LIS. The work is being overseen by a steering group comprising LEP Board members and other key stakeholders from local businesses and organisations. Over the next few weeks Shared Intelligence will be facilitating discussions on each of Buckinghamshire’s economic assets to develop actions that will enable them to contribute more to the national and local economy. The LEP Board will be taking stock of progress at its meeting on 24 July.

We will be publishing a series of outputs over the next few months which will feed into the LIS. They are:

 

  • Summer: The Proposition, including a draft economic vision, a draft set of core propositions relating to the economic assets and a narrative on the relationship between the county and the corridor.
  • Autumn: The Prospectus, including a refined vision; the core propositions; emerging thinking on action internationally, nationally, pan corridor and locally to deliver the propositions.
  • End of year: The LIS.

How can you contribute to the development of the corridor?

At this stage BTVLEP and Shared Intelligence are keen to engage with businesses and other relevant stakeholders to help us scope Buckinghamshire core economic assets and craft a programme of action to strengthen and exploit them. If you would like to contribute to this work please contact:  Lisa McCance at Shared Intelligence by email: Lisa.McCance@sharedintelligence.net, telephone: 020 7756 7600 or alternatively tweet us directly @btvlep using the #bucksLIS.

To view the Buckinghamshire Local Industrial Strategy Initial Proposition Action Plan click here.

The National Strategy

The government’s ambitious, modern Industrial Strategy sets out a long term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK, setting out how we are building a Britain fit for the future.

The UK has significant economic strengths on which we can build, but we need to do more to increase our productivity and make the most of our untapped potential right across the country. 

The government, backed by Local Enterprise Parnerships (LEPs), will boost productivity and earning power across the country by focusing on the five foundations of productivity: Ideas, People, Infrastructure, Business Environment and Places.

To view summary of the key points of the Industrial Strategy click here

Oxford-Cambridge Growth Corridor Economic Vision 

The Oxford -Cambridge Corridor is seen as one of the greatest untapped economic corridors in the UK and has been identified by Government as a key strategic priority for growth, development and investment.

Analysis prepared for the National Infrastructure Commission suggested that trend-based growth, reflecting established patterns of spatial development, could see the number of jobs across the Corridor increase by 335,000 to 2050, increasing economic output by some £85bn.   It also suggests that more transformational growth is possible.  In a scenario where the Corridor’s housing needs are better met and in which east-west links succeed in bringing distinct sub regional economies closer together – the area could support a further 700,000 jobs by 2050, increasing GVA by £163bn.

The Government has invited the three Local Enterprise Partnerships of OxLEP, SEMLEP and BTVLEP which over the corridor, together with the Mayoral Combined Authority for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, to work together to develop a shared economic vision.

Our aim is to create a shared long term economic vision and Strategic Investment Plan for the Oxford - Milton Keynes - Cambridge Growth Corridor to 2050, to guide policy and investment decisions by partners in response to the Industrial Strategy White Paper, building on the emerging Local Industrial Strategies, existing Strategic Economic Plans & growth, infrastructure and skills strategies, which focus upon the potential of place and supported by robust evidence and economic intelligence.