England's Economic Heartland
Stretching from Swindon to Cambridgeshire and from Northamptonshire to Hertfordshire, England’s Economic Heartland brings political and business leaders together in a strategic collaborative partnership with a shared commitment to realise the region's economic potential.
We provide the region’s voice on strategic infrastructure and services. Our leadership is focused on addressing barriers to realising our potential.
• We are the Sub-national Transport Body for the region. Our overarching Transport Strategy will be a 30 year strategic vision for our transport system that puts the needs of businesses and individuals at the forefront of investment decisions
• Our work on wider strategic infrastructure is focused on making sure investment in transport, digital and utilities infrastructure is ‘joined up’
• Our work with our delivery partners is focused on identifying investment priorities, getting the funding secured and then delivering improvements to budget and on-time.
Working in collaboration with Government and partners across the Heartland, we are committed to creating places where people and business realise their potential, and are able to compete on the global stage for UK plc.
Our 5.1m population and 280,000 business together generate around £155 billion GVA. We have a 21st century economy, particularly rich in high value engineering, science, technology and research. Most of our firms are small or medium sized enterprises with many based in rural or semi-rural areas.
Overall, our economy is successful and we’re a net contributor to the exchequer. However, the National Infrastructure Commission believes our economy could double or even triple in size. But it also warns this opportunity cannot be taken for granted.
Indeed, our success already comes at a price. Economic growth combined with underinvestment in infrastructure and services means that the pressure on our transport, digital and wider infrastructure networks has grown to the point where they operate close to capacity most of the time. The resilience of our networks has dropped, affecting business productivity and making travel for individuals increasingly challenging.
Our transport system continues to be dominated by the legacy of investment that left us with a largely radial pattern of strategic networks centred on London. Travel across the Heartland – and in particular east-west – is hamstrung by poor connectivity and poor integration.
Digital connectivity remains a challenge at a time when lifestyle and business changes mean our demands and expectations of digital infrastructure continue to increase. And economic success brings with it further pressure on wider strategic infrastructure, including power and water supplies.
England’s Economic Heartland is the response of strategic political and business leaders to overcome these challenges, with investment in strategic infrastructure and services key to realising our potential."