Arc scheme has ‘very positive’ economic benefits for Huntingdonshire says district council leader Ryan Fuller

Ryan Fuller says the door is still open for Marshalls to talk to HDC.

Ryan Fuller says the door is still open for Marshalls to talk to HDC. - Credit: Archant

A massive development scheme which could double economic output in the region to more than £200 billion by 2050 will deliver “very positive benefits” for Huntingdonshire, the leader of the district council has said.

The Oxford to Cambridge Arc foresees a swathe of new homes, businesses and a rail link between the two world-leading communities - with Huntingdonshire close to the centre.

A prospectus for the Arc, which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has described as a “key economic priority for the country” has now been submitted to the government and calls for its long-term commitment to investment - despite the coronavirus crisis.

Cllr Ryan Fuller, leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, said: “Government prioritisation of investment in the Oxford to Cambridge Arc will deliver very positive benefits for Huntingdonshire which is the Arc gateway to the rest of Cambridgeshire.

“The Arc already houses some of the country’s most productive towns and cities, but to help it and Huntingdonshire generate further growth and become a world class economic hub, the right infrastructure and investment is needed.”

Cllr Fuller said. “We have already welcomed the initiation of the East-West rail project which aims to increase connectivity across the Arc, linking together our largest market town with neighbouring cities and growth areas.

“We have long strived to promote increased productivity to boost economic growth and prosperity in Huntingdonshire and deliver better jobs and higher incomes for people.

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“Being a partner in the Arc project allows us to directly contribute towards delivering those aspirations for residents and businesses, developing skilled work, growth opportunities and local prosperity.”

The Arc, backed by a range of councils, enterprise organisations and universities, is home to nearly four million people and two million jobs, generating more than £111 billion of economic output which its leaders say could rise to more than £200 billion, especially through science, technology and high-value manufacturing.

Cllr Barry Wood, chairman of the Arc Leaders’ Group and leader of Cherwell District Council, said: “The Arc region has a critical mass of research, high-technology expertise and innovation assets found nowhere else in the UK. Yet we are at a pivotal time, during which our nation’s economic resilience is being tested far beyond anything we’ve seen before.

“Working with government we can release the potential of the Arc’s key sectors, scientific community and entrepreneurial spirit to propel our country’s response to the major national and global challenges we face.”