Winning designs to be included in NIC report on proposal later this year

The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) has announced the four firms that have been shortlisted for the Cambridge to Oxford Connection, following the launch of an ideas competition in June.

As part of a two-part competition, the NIC is seeking what it calls “inspirational yet realisable visions for the future of development within the arc encompassing four of the UK’s fastest-growing and most productive centres: Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Oxford”.

Whittled down from nearly 60 entries, the shortlisted teams are led by Barton Willmore, Fletcher Priest Architects, Mae and Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design.

Bridget Rosewell, the NIC’s Commissioner and chair of the competition’s jury, said: “At the second stage, we will be looking for proposals that are rooted in their context and understand the local character, environment and landscape. We have asked competitors to consider how places will be integrated with infrastructure, but above all, we want to see what the proposals will mean for the lives of the people living and working in the corridor.”

The top four teams will be given an honorarium of £10,000 to develop their initial submission.

Last November, the NIC published an interim report on the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor and said it “could be a world renowned centre for science, technology and innovation” after being tasked six months earlier by the then-chancellor George Osborne to “maximise the potential” of the corridor. It stretches approximately 130 miles around the north and west of London’s green belt and has a population of 3.3 million people.

The final designs produced by the shortlist will be used in the commission’s report to government later this year.