Three counties make bid for five-year growth deal

15 May 15

Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire county councils are to form a groundbreaking alliance to seek devolved powers to boost economic growth.

A report to be heard before Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet next week will urge government to ‘break down barriers’ to bring increased prosperity to the region by agreeing a five-year growth Deal that could boost growth across the authority by a £9bn a year by 2020, creating at least 135,000 new jobs.

The counties described themselves as ‘England’s Economic Heartland’ and have also confirmed that they will work together on economic development and their respective local enterprise partnerships.

The proposal follows last December’s announcement by the authorities that they would seek a joint devolution deal.

Support of the deal will help unify funding streams available for local projects and economic growth, giving businesses confidence to invest in the area, the authorities said. Working together would allow infrastructure projects to be planned effectively across county borders.

Oxfordshire County Council leader Ian Hudspeth said that by working together the three councils would strengthen their competitiveness in global markets.

‘We want to grow the area’s reputation as a serious destination for new economy industries and their employees, families and supply chains,’ he said.

‘What England’s Economic Heartland does is provide a way which enables economies of scale and efficiencies to be realised. However it also ensures that priorities are driven by locally identified needs and opportunities.’

  • Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith Ugwumadu joined Public Finance International and Public Finance online as a reporter after stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express. Currently, she writes about public finance, public services and economics.

    Follow her on @JudithUgwumadu_

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