Cambridge-Norwich Technology Corridor

The Cambridge-Norwich Technology Corridor (CNTC) Consortium commissioned Cambridge Econometrics to provide a detailed economic appraisal of the potential growth of the corridor area.

The project proceeded through several stages, including both data analysis and significant stakeholder engagement.

It progressed from the formulation of a vision statement for the Corridor, three stated ambitions that the corridor should be judged against, and four immediate priorities for intervention.

These were supported with a series of 16 smaller pragmatic recommendations that can be found in the body of the report.

Our proposed vision for a Cambridge-Norwich Technology Corridor, is a place that is:

  • home to nationally significant and recognised clusters of firms in a variety of high-tech sectors, including both scientific R&D and more applied technological fields
  • a leader in technical education in the UK
  • a test-bed for technological solutions that drives up productivity across a wide range of sectors; and
  • all linked together through high-class infrastructure (transport, ICT, utilities) which facilitate the connection and synergies between firms, clusters and local economies along the corridor.

Our central recommendation was that the CNTC Partnership therefore focused on three ambitions:

  1. To promote the development of a small number of nationally significant and globally competitive tech clusters along the corridor
  2. To facilitate the continued growth of the Cambridge and Norwich functional economic areas into the heart of the corridor through the provision of high-quality and well-connected housing and employment space
  3. To prioritise inclusive growth by raising skill levels, productivity levels and real wages across all sectors in the corridor economy

Finally, our proposed priorities for intervention included:

  • Working with the two Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and a variety of sectoral representatives to prepare a local industrial strategy built around promoting collaboration, innovation and productivity growth along the corridor, and specifically targeting the key sectors identified
  • Ensuring that key decisions are taken now to ensure the right combination of employment space, business support and key infrastructure to facilitate the Corridor’s vision
  • Ensuring that the importance of maintaining the attractiveness of the corridor as a place to live is not forgotten, including the development of a sense of place, and the provision of high-quality housing and other soft infrastructure
  • Working with local higher education and further education providers to ensure that the local population has access to the skills and education training required to gain jobs in high-tech sectors.
Adam Brown Principal Economist [email protected]