Overview of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc

We want to hear your views to help create a vision for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc Spatial Framework, and in doing so guide the future growth of the area to 2050.

We are keen to hear from people who live, work, travel and have a business based in the area, as well as those who just have an interest in the future of the Arc and the area it covers.

We will consider all comments received to this consultation, which, alongside other considerations, will help create the Spatial Framework’s vision for the Arc to 2050. It will also help to inform the development of the Sustainability Appraisal.

About the Arc

The Oxford-Cambridge Arc (the Arc) is a globally significant area between Oxford, Milton Keynes and Cambridge. It is formed of five ceremonial counties: Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire.

This forms an ‘Arc’, which provides a place to live for approximately 3.7 million residents and supports over 2 million jobs. Adding over £110 billion in economic output every year, it is home to one of the fastest growing economies in England.

It is a unique place, home to cutting-edge research, globally renowned science and technology clusters, and some of the most productive towns and cities in the country. It contains a vibrant natural environment, world-leading universities, and a rich cultural heritage.

Map of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc area showing key administrative boundaries including: Ceremonial Counties; City Councils; Combined Authorities; District Councils; and Unitary Authority areas.

Setting the ambition - the Arc in 2050

Our ambition for the Arc is to build a better economic, social and environmental future for the area. There is an opportunity to make the Arc an even more beautiful place to live, work and visit, by making high-quality, well-connected and sustainable communities.

In February 2021, we set out how we intend to develop a Spatial Framework to help us realise our ambition to support sustainable economic growth in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, under four policy ‘pillars’: the environment; the economy; connectivity and infrastructure; and place-making.

We believe that the Spatial Framework will allow us to make the area a better place to live and work for all, as well as leaving a long-term legacy by protecting and enhancing the Arc’s built and natural environment and beautiful places. 

The government will lead the development of the Framework, working closely with communities and local stakeholders at each step.

In spring 2022, we expect to publish the vision as well as a public consultation on options for the policies in the Spatial Framework. We will also publish a summary of comments received and our response as part of this consultation, so you can see how views have been taken into account.

Historic and indicative timeline
Image showing the indicative timeline for developing the Spatial Framework.