Wednesday, 19 March 2014

City Deal - Thanks to all who have helped make it real

In the budget today, George Osborne announced the Government’s willingness to sign up to the Greater Cambridge City Deal and provide us with a £500m gainshare arrangement  Finally getting us within touching distance of a Deal that will deliver huge improvements.

I cannot stress what a game changer this will be for the entire County and also how complex the discussion that have got us here have been.

The majority of this money will be spent on transport projects and will start to deal with the infrastructure deficit around Greater Cambridge, helping to create thousands of new jobs and boosting the whole County’s economy.  I have made it a goal that the success should cascade well beyond the geographical boundaries of the work so that the benefits reach across the whole of the County and beyond.

This has been an absolute team effort to achieve this, especially at a time when there is little money around.

We have fought hard to argue the case that Cambridge and the surrounding County is vital to the continued economic recovery of the UK, we act as a magnet to world beating firms; our County competes on the world stage.  The deal is a recognition of us winning that argument and is testament to the hard work put in by everyone.

I would like to thank our partners Cambridge City Council, South Cambridgeshire District Council, The University of Cambridge and the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Enterprise Partnership and our MPs who have worked hard on our behalf in Westminster to argue the case for the City Deal.  I have spoken with many of them, especially Andrew Lansley, who have been lobbying behind the scenes for our communities.  I also want to thank the Conservative Cities Minister, Greg Clarke who has played a pivotal role in making this happen for Cambridgeshire – an excellent Minister doing an excellent job for our County.

Of course our staff at the County Council deserve huge credit too.

There is still some work to go before we sign up fully and, as with everything, the devil is in the detail.  But I am extremely optimistic that we will sign this very soon.

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