Tuesday 26th March 2024

(3 weeks, 3 days ago)

Written Statements
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Michael Gove Portrait The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (Michael Gove)
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Today, I set out the next steps in this Government’s commitment to realise the true potential of greater Cambridge.

Cambridge, as part of the “Golden Triangle”, is an exceptional place that for centuries has been one of the intellectual centres of the world. The city is internationally renowned for its strengths in research and innovation, particularly in the life sciences sector. It is one of the UK’s most prized assets, with an academic, scientific, financial and technical ecosystem that is already well established—but can go much further. “The Case for Cambridge” published at spring Budget 2024, explains why its successes can neither be taken for granted nor easily replicated elsewhere, and sets out the economic and architectural opportunity in growing the city to achieve its full potential.

The Government are firmly committed to supporting Cambridge through its next chapter, both for the benefit of the local area and the UK economy as a whole. That is why at spring Budget 2024 we announced that the next spending review will confirm a long-term funding settlement for the future development corporation in Cambridge, commensurate with the Government’s level of ambition. This long-term commitment is being bolstered by funding for immediate priorities: a £7.2 million investment for locally led transport schemes to provide the Cambridge biomedical campus with the connectivity it needs to thrive; and £3 million to support Cambridge University NHS Trust to support plans for future growth.

We are also delivering ambitious plans to make sure that greater Cambridge has a safe and sustainable supply of water. We set out these plans in a policy paper, published at the Budget, which includes a unique offsetting intervention to save water now through improving efficiency, and support sustainable growth. In addition, DLUHC issued a joint statement with the Environment Agency, greater Cambridge shared planning and DEFRA, outlining our commitment to sustainable growth and development on the basis of our water credits scheme.

I have asked Peter Freeman, who is leading the Government’s Cambridge delivery group, to establish a dedicated growth company for Cambridge as the next step towards a development corporation. As set out in the terms of reference, published today, the growth company will focus on establishing a strong Cambridge presence and brand, developing the evidence base and case for investment to support our long-term strategy, and enabling and accelerating existing developments in and around the city.

A range of local partners, including local authority leaders and representatives of the academic, innovation and infrastructure sectors, will be invited to an advisory council to support the growth company.

This Government remain steadfast in their commitment to promoting and increasing the use of high-quality design for new build homes and neighbourhoods. Ambitious development and growth should not come at the expense of this commitment. In Cambridge, the very best design principles will be used to enhance what is special about the city and to create a model for ambitious urban growth, based on connected city quarters, that reflects what communities want and demonstrates how new places can be equal to, and even better than, the old.

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