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Three English counties work up growth deal plan

by on May 21, 2015

Three county councils in the middle of England are putting the finishing touches to their joint case for a government-backed five-year growth deal for the region, unifying the various funding streams available for strategic projects and economic growth.

The counties – Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire – have formed an alliance badged as ‘England’s Economic Heartland’ to develop the initiative.

In the next couple of weeks the cabinets of the three councils will consider a report detailing progress so far and setting out the next steps.

Together the counties provide a home for a significant proportion of UK science and technology innovation. The region has a combined economy estimated at £46.6bn and has calculated that achieving a deal with the administration could boost that figure by a further £9bn each year, creating at least 135,000 new jobs by 2020.

Work has started already on preparing a single sub-national infrastructure and economic development framework. The councils have stressed that they will work closely with local planning authorities to ensure this strategy supports their growth ambitions.

The three counties argue that establishing a stronger voice for the area will increase the councils’ influence on longer term planning processes like those associated with the strategic road network and rail infrastructure.

View the Northamptonshire County Council news release on England’s Economic Heartland

Roger Milne

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