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Osp Economy Presentation


Presentation given at Oxford Strategic Partnership Public event 30 March 2010

Presentation given at Oxford Strategic Partnership Public event 30 March 2010

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  • Oxford is a powerful brand with world-wide recognition. It is the lynch-pin upon which Central Oxfordshire has been able to accommodate a diverse range of industries - education, health, bioscience, information technology, publishing, the motor industry and tourism. At the core the city is home to around 3,800 businesses providing 108,000 jobs. Seven of the ten largest employers in Central Oxfordshire are located in Oxford. The local economy is flexible. Central Oxfordshire has played an important role in accommodating new, high tech, and innovative investments, which in turn have helped to sustain the competitiveness of the Oxford brand. Although there has been little change in the total number of jobs in the City over the last 30 years, and manufacturing has declined, these jobs have been replaced by employment in the health, education and the service sectors. 88% of employees now work in services, including 19% in retail, hotel and catering. Largely due to the presence and influence of the two world-class Universities in Oxford and their links with business stimulation, Central Oxfordshire is also able to offer a labour force with a significant proportion being highly qualified. In terms of Gross Value Added (GVA) Oxford was the seventh highest performer in a recent study of 50 city regions in England. In a study of growth rates across the same city regions, Oxford was the eighth highest performer. Knowledge economy activity is the key to Central Oxfordshire's reputation and prosperity. The two universities, Oxford and Oxford Brookes, have been integral to this and: provide educational services of the highest international standard are driving forces behind the emerging research and development industries are leading the way in the creation of hi-tech spin-off companies. Staff from Oxford University have formed 80% of the 114 technology-based spin-off companies in Oxfordshire. Spin-offs employ around 3% of the county's workforce. Additionally the hi-tech sector: has stimulated cluster development and business networking includes not just newly emerging areas, such as ICT, bioscience, and pharmaceutical companies but also traditional businesses which have successfully embraced technological advances, such as BMW and the publishing houses. Central Oxfordshire accommodates several hi-tech and knowledge economy oriented business parks, including Oxford Science Park, Oxford Business Park, Milton Park, Harwell International Business Centre, Culham Science Centre, the Diamond Light Synchotron, and Begbroke Business and Science Park. The motor industry continues to play a key role in and around the city. As well as BMW's commitment to Mini production in Oxford the wider area also hosts a number of Formula One businesses. The Diamond is home to several internationally recognised brands apart from BMW Mini. These include Unipart, Harley Davidson, Oxford University Press, Amey, MacMillans, Oxfam, Williams Formula 1 racing , Renault Formula 1 racing, Neilsen's, Reed Elsevier, Siemen's, and Blackwells. To the south of the City the exciting and new Quadrant initiative promises to boost Central Oxfordshire's knowledge economy credentials even further, including expansion of Milton Park. Tourism is another significant part of the economy. Oxford is the sixth most visited city in the UK (excluding London) by international visitors and is the tourism gateway to the rest of Oxfordshire. More than 7.8 million visitors spend over £410 million annually. Oxford is also a major retail attraction. A considerable commitment from the City Council, County Council, and SEEDA is in place to enhance this attraction even further by redeveloping both the central Westgate Shopping Centre and the West End area of the city centre. The potential which this represents has warranted the Government designating the West End area as a national "New Growth Point". Central Oxfordshire enjoys good transport links with excellent connections to the motorway network via the M40 and A34, good rail links with London and the West Midlands, and a commercial airport on the edge of the City, at Kidlington.
  • Affordable Housing and the Economy How does addressing the issue of affordable housing contribute to the cross cutting theme of supporting the economy of the city? Increased availability of affordable housing will help existing employers in the city to maintain their employment levels and be better able to recruit further workers should they wish to do so Increased availability will mean that existing employers will feel much less compelled to transport workers in from further afield Existing businesses will be less likely to move out of the city in order to be able to employ the workers they need Increased availability will also help promote the attractiveness of the city to both skilled and non-skilled workers wishing to relocate to the city from other parts of the country Increased availability demonstrates to existing businesses that the city is prepared to help them in meeting the needs of their workforce Increased availability will particularly help public sector employers, a key component of the city’s economy, to attract and retain workers Accommodating key worker housing will allow particular businesses to recruit and retain specialist groups of workers Increased availability of affordable housing will help reduce the visible incidence of both homelessness and rough sleeping, and the detrimental impact on the image of the city, particularly the city centre. Health and Social Inclusion and the Economy How does addressing the issues of health and social inclusion contribute to the cross cutting theme of supporting the economy of the city? Addressing health and social inclusion issues will mean that labour pool availability is strengthened Addressing health issues means that local businesses are less likely to be affected by sickness levels Addressing health and related issues means that more local people are likely to be able to make themselves available for work, including part-time A key part of addressing social inclusion is about helping people to be able to secure paid employment. This is about improving links and access to education, training and skills development. In addition to encouraging more people to become employed, this helps with self-employment, or improving employment status, or starting a business. This also adds to what the labour pool has to offer Encouraging people to become employed or to improve their employment status will help generate rising household income, and thereby enable expenditure which supports local retail, leisure and cultural businesses. Climate Change and the Economy How does addressing the issues of climate change contribute to the cross cutting theme of supporting the economy of the city? Anticipating and addressing flooding risk will help offset the difficulties which flooding can give rise to for business trading Anticipating and addressing flooding risk will also help minimise any adverse perception re the city’s tourism profile The need to address the implications of climate change will stimulate business ideas around environmentally friendly technologies to develop Responding to climate change will encourage businesses to seek greater efficiencies, thereby generating lower costs and becoming more competitive Becoming a model of good practice and centre of excellence in terms of addressing climate change will stimulate the interest of both green businesses and businesses interested in developing green technologies in Oxford as a business location Oxford’s Universities will be interested in providing both research capacity linked to business applications, and opportunities for high tech spin outs to be developed. Public Realm and the Economy How does addressing the issue of the public realm contribute to the cross cutting theme of supporting the economy of the city? Enhancing the appearance of public open spaces, public access areas and public buildings helps the city to project a quality environment which appeals to both businesses and parties considering business investment The creation of new retail floorspace and a cultural quarter in the West End will generate construction opportunities, business investment opportunities, and job creation opportunities especially in retail and construction employment Supporting or promoting cultural activities helps the economy by providing local businesses with business supplying goods or services, by encouraging those engaged in cultural activity to set up their own business, and by encouraging visitors to come to Oxford and spend Enhancing the public realm also helps in attracting spending tourists and visitors to Oxford Further enhancing Oxford’s visual imagery will continue to strengthen the Oxford brand Seeking to improve road traffic management in consultation with businesses will allow businesses to advise on how the road system affects their business operations. Safer Communities and the Economy How does addressing the issue of a safer, stronger, more cohesive city contribute to the cross cutting theme of supporting the economy of the city? A safer, trouble-free environment is more likely to accommodate further investment being made by existing Oxford businesses A safer environment is less likely to present businesses with security concerns, and likely to lessen costs due to theft and vandalism A safer environment is more likely to appeal to businesses considering Oxford as an investment location A safer environment means that tourists and other visitors are more likely to visit Oxford and spend on local goods and services A more cohesive community means that businesses are less likely to be caught up in community unrest Encouraging a more cohesive community means that minority groups are more likely to avail themselves of training and employment opportunities, or opportunities to start their own business.


  • 1. The Oxford Economy
    • Oxford is home to around 3,800 businesses providing 108,000 jobs.
    • There is a high level of in-commuting, with about half of Oxford's workforce living outside its boundary
    • 89% of employees now work in services, including 42% in public administration, education and health. Other key features of the local economy include the bioscience sector, IT, software and creative media businesses and university ‘spin-off’ companies.
    • Oxford is the sixth most visited city in the UK by international visitors and is the tourism gateway to the rest of Oxfordshire.  It attracts approximately 9.3 million visitors per year, generating £740 million of income for local Oxford businesses.
    • The city centre is a regional shopping destination, which performs extremely well and has a low vacancy rate. Oxford is ranked sixth as a retail centre of regional importance in the South East.
    David Doughty Chief Executive Oxfordshire Economic Partnership
  • 2. Strengthening the local economy
    • Affordable Housing
    • Health and Social Inclusion
    • Climate Change
    • Quality of the Public Realm for Residents and Visitors
    • Safer, Stronger, more Cohesive City
    David Doughty Chief Executive Oxfordshire Economic Partnership
  • 3. Oxford’s Economic Strategy
    • Manage economic development to maximise sustainable high value jobs in a low-carbon economy
    • Strengthen high value tourism and conference markets building on the academic, business, cultural and retailing strengths of the city
    • Develop a comprehensive housing strategy to provide high quality and appropriate housing for all residents
    • Build on existing partnerships to effectively reduce disparities of opportunity and outcome in fields of health, education, and wealth creation across Oxford
    • Develop high-level public, private, voluntary and community sector partnerships to tackle current climate change and sustainable energy issues in Oxford
    • Make Oxford a healthier, greener, more cohesive and safer place
    • Develop innovative clean, green systems of transport that will link the opportunities of Oxford to the wider world.
    David Doughty Chief Executive Oxfordshire Economic Partnership