Northampton 'vital to future growth of South East Midlands', says business summit

Hilary Chipping, from SEMLEP

Hilary Chipping, from SEMLEP

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Improved transport links are essential to deliver the jobs and housing, a summit held in Northamptonshire heard on Thursday.

The development of the so-called Northampton/Milton Keynes/Cambridge/Oxford corridor was crucial to the future growth of the region, according to members of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership, which organised the meeting at Towcester Racecourse.

Members of the panel at the infrastructure summit

Members of the panel at the infrastructure summit

SEMLEP says the region is one of the fastest growing areas in the country, with significant numbers of new jobs and homes set to be created.

Stephen Catchpole, chief executive of SEMLEP, said: "The next few years promise to be a tremendously exciting time for the South East Midlands.

"We have the chance to change the lives of a whole generation, bringing a new era of innovation, job creation and prosperity to the region.

"By working together with Government we can ensure the funding is there to put into place the infrastructure needed to support our plans for the area."

The summit, held at Towcester Racecourse, was organised by South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership

The summit, held at Towcester Racecourse, was organised by South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership

He said it was essential that skilled workers were attracted to the Northampton corridor to support "innovative and pioneering" businesses.

Phil Graham, chief executive of the National Infrastructure Commission, said: “The skills base in the corridor is unique and there is a high level of productivity and sustained growth among knowledge-led business sectors.

“That can lead to challenges with transport and housing and ambitious strategies are needed to deliver long-term growth. A clear and coherent plan can link the two and we hope to be the catalyst that unlocks the huge potential in the area.”