Region set to benefit as high-tech firms expand

HUNTINGDONSHIRE looks set to become home to yet more hi-tech industries, as the knowledge-based sectors expand out of Cambridge. The knowledge-based sectors accounts for around one-third of employment within the 25-mile radius of Cambridge that we cove

HUNTINGDONSHIRE looks set to become home to yet more hi-tech industries, as the "knowledge-based" sectors expand out of Cambridge.

"The knowledge-based sectors accounts for around one-third of employment within the 25-mile radius of Cambridge that we cover," Martin Garratt, the director of the Greater Cambridge Partnership (GCP) told The Hunts Post this week.

"Therefore, as we continue to compete in the global market-place, it's these sectors that will be crucial to our future success.

"The foundation comes through innovation. That's why it's so important, and that's why we are pleased to sponsor this award."


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GCP has been behind the Innovation award since it was added to The Hunts Post Business Awards five years ago.

"We are keen to see that Huntingdonshire prospers as a business location and provides the range of employment sites to meet the needs of growing businesses.

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"As companies begin to grow, they need space for development and high-value manufacturing. They are looking beyond Cambridge, and that's where Huntingdonshire - particularly Huntingdon, St Ives and St Neots - can benefit.

"Hi-tech manufacturing facilities are already coming to the area, and it's that type of opportunity that we will be looking to build on for the future."

GCP's area comprises a population of 635,000 in 10 local authority areas, and includes 25,000 businesses already in an annual economy of more than £12billion.

The partnership reckons 70,000 new jobs will be needed to sustain the additional homes earmarked for the Cambridge sub-region up to 2021, and it works closely with Cambridgeshire Horizons - which is batting to ensure the physical infrastructure is in place to support the rapidly-expanding population - to ensure that new and expanding community is sustainable.

Part of that is to provide jobs near people's homes to minimise the extent of environmentally damaging commuting out of the area to work.

"We recognise that some commuting will still have to happen but, from a Huntingdonshire perspective, we want to ensure that there are local jobs available to reduce the need for it," Mr Garratt said.

"We want to create an environment in which business can flourish so that we can achieve those jobs."

The private-sector led partnership, which includes public sector representation and voluntary and community groups, was generated by the East of England Development Agency, which provided £10million of funding last year.

GCP, which is soon to launch an economic master plan for the area for the next 15 years, is investing £350,000 in the £1.4million creative industries centre being built on the Longsands campus in St Neots.

INFORMATION: The Greater Cambridge Partnership, for which Cambridgeshire County Council provides administrative support, is at RES 1219, Shire Hall, Castle Hill, Cambridge, CB3 0AP. Telephone: 01223 717310.

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