Conservative Leadership candidates encouraged to recognise the significance of the East
The Eastern Powerhouse has sent a letter to candidates in the Conservative Party Leadership race, signposting the East of England as a key area for any future Prime Minister to consider.
You can find the full text of the letter, below:
TO: All Conservative Party Leadership candidates.
My sincerest congratulations on putting yourself forward to become the Leader of the Conservative Party and, by extension, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
The Eastern Powerhouse represents almost 7 million people who live in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, a geographic area that has produced no less than 52 Conservative MP’s. We are the 4th largest economy in the UK and home to some of the most innovative and dynamic businesses in the country. Despite this, in terms of investment the East has often been short-changed in comparison to other UK regions, with government spending in the area per capita being around half the national average. I hope that as the new Prime Minister, you will work with us to address this issue.
The opportunity here to grow the UK economy by investing in the East is not insignificant. Sensible investment could see the economy grow by at least £30bn per annum, offering a whopping £11.5bn boost to Her Majesty`s Treasury.
The East is home to Europe’s largest and most successful tech and life science centre at Cambridge, yet government plans to create a ‘silicon East’ have never materialised. The Eastern Powerhouse could work with you to grow the technology- based industries in the East by improving transport and communication links between emerging sectors in Norwich, Ipswich, Peterborough, Cambridge and London.
The East is also the only part of the UK to have oil, gas, solar, wind and nuclear power and is well- situated to meet the future energy needs of London and the West Midlands.
We could help you create a green energy policy for the East utilising the untapped. Capacity for carbon storage in empty oil and gas wells in the North Sea. The advantages in Green energy growth in the East could see home-grown hydrogen production capabilities in the East, combined with the ability to pipe hydrogen directly into London. With a new project set to be announced later this year, which will include a tidal energy scheme capable of generating enough electricity to power 600, 000 homes, the East is well positioned to become the key energy provider for the whole country.
New agricultural technologies are set to play a vital role in food production in the coming years. Some of the most fertile and productive land in the country is in the East, and strategic investment could leverage this to help the UK move on from its current dependency on high levels of low paid employment in agriculture.
As technology advances, government must be ready to seize the new opportunities presented by a fully modernised agricultural sector. The Eastern Powerhouse can work with you to deliver a strategy that will capitalize on these trends, advantage of the natural resources the East has, and tying them in with the latest advances in science and tech.
My humble request to you is this: when you are discussing the future of the United Kingdom - and in particular, the levelling up agenda -, please ensure that the East of England is no longer simply passed by over (as it has been historically). The potential of the region is such that it should be at the heart of any UK policy aimed at growing the economy, developing this country`s infrastructure, and levelling the playing-field between regions.
'Investment in the East would show a greater return for the whole of the UK than an equivalent amount of investment in any other region, allowing Government and the Treasury to bank more money for future investments. The Eastern Powerhouse has been formed to promote the East nationally and internationally as a single, interconnected region. We will work with government to put the case for the East forward however we can, and we hope you will join us in this cause in your campaign to become the next Prime Minister.
James Palmer Chair Eastern Powerhouse
You can download the full version of the letter below: