Thought Leadership


Showcasing innovative, insightful and valuable ideas from leading experts within the Thames Valley and beyond, our thought leadership page covers a broad spectrum of important topics relevant to the region’s business community.

If you would like to submit a thought leadership piece for consideration, please contact the Policy and Inward Investment Department.

Data centres have come of age. By Andy Gulliford, June 2021

Andy Gulliford highlights how the role of data centres in society has drastically changed, with workers in data centres being classed as key workers over the last year in the pandemic. This piece addresses the role of the UK data centre network and its growth potential, estimated to be 15% a year up to 2024. Gulliford describes how demand in technology has soared - both through personal use and companies transfering their IT functions to the cloud - and how the UK data network coped with the demand during the pandemic.

Read the full article here

An atmosphere of collaboration needed to grow the global space sector. By Joanna Hart, March 2021

Joanna Hart, Development Manager at Harwell Space Cluster explains why the best way to grow the global space sector is by bringing together academia, business and government. The article details the role of the UK in the space race, the UK's goals and where the UK is a global leader. Particularly relevant to the Thames Valley, with its strengths in this sector, the article addresses the role of space technology and how it can help global issues - as demonstrated by its role in the pandemic response.

Read the full article here

The future of the planning system in England: Major questions and missed opportunities. By Stuart Irvine, Senior Director, Planning South East, Turley. Jun 21

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has today published its report following the consideration of the Government’s proposed reforms to the planning system, which were announced in August 2020.

Read full article here

Oxford to Cambridge Spatial Framework: A nationally significant Arc? By Tim Burden, Feb 2021.

Once implemented, the Spatial Framework is to have national planning and transport policy status and will sit alongside the NPPF, rather than having Development Plan Status. The Government has stated that a sustainability appraisal will be developed to inform and underpin the preparation of the Framework - according greater weight to it in decision making, and ultimately greater certainty about the sustainability and deliverability of key attributes of the spatial plan.

Read the full article here