Located 12 miles from Oxford and 24 miles from Milton Keynes, Bicester is one of the fastest growing areas in Oxfordshire with excellent transport links by rail and road to the cities of London, Oxford and Birmingham.
The town is a historic market centre, but has shown major ambitions for growth through the development of the internationally recognised Bicester Village Shopping Centre, the town centre redevelopment and the proposed Bicester Eco-town.
Some facts about Bicester:
- Just under 30,000 people live in Bicester
- The population of Bicester Town is expected to grow by 28% between 2006 and 2016
- Overall deprivation is low, while unemployment is relatively low compared to Oxford and Banbury
- Major employers include the Ministry of Defence, BGP (Printing), Fresh Direct and Paragon Fleet Solutions.
Bicester is where we will use the significant potential for further growth, including the eco-town proposal, to act as the focus for delivering improved economic and commercial activities and creating an international exemplar of sustainable development.
Oxfordshire County Council has summarised much of the key data available for the Bicester area in a report: About the Bicester area - context and challenges.
At the centre of the Oxfordshire sits one of Europe’s best universities and the UK’s best new university.
Both Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University produce the talent of the future. They have the vision and skills to grasp emerging technologies and discover and exploit their commercial and economic possibilities.
While academic excellence is how many envisage Oxford, the city’s offer is far greater. Oxford is one of eight ‘buoyant cities’ in the latest Centre for Cities report, regarded as ‘prime candidates for major expansion to support further economic and employment growth’.
Some facts about Oxford
- Just under 150,000 people live in Oxford
- Oxford has the highest proportion of students per population and also the highest proportion of those working in the public sector in the country
- Overall unemployment is low
- Major employers include BMW, the two universities, County and City councils and the NHS
Oxford is where we will continue to invest in supporting the work that already makes this a world-class centre of education, research and innovation.
Science Vale Oxford UK
Already globally competitive, Science Vale Oxford UK, the county’s science and technology heart, is larger than that of Cambridge and, indeed, larger than that of MIT in the USA. This concentration is just part of the R&D on offer here in Oxfordshire. Indeed, we have the largest concentration of research and development activity in Western Europe. In total the Science Vale Oxford UK area contains 13% of all research and development employment in the south east (4% nationally).
As part of Science Vale Oxford UK, the Harwell Oxford Campus is being developed as a world-class centre for science, innovation and enterprise. Home to the Science and Technology Facilities Council, the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, the Medical Research Council and the European Space Agency Space Centre, Harwell has more than 4,500 people working in over 140 organisations comprising large-scale research councils, high technology companies and a range of rapidly growing start-ups.
Elsewhere within Science Vale Oxford UK, Culham is home to the UK’s fusion research programme – the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) – as well as the world’s largest fusion experimental facility – the Joint European Torus (JET).
Milton Park is one of Europe’s largest multi-use business parks and is home to more than 160 companies that form one of the UK’s foremost science communities. The 6,500 people on the site work for companies of all sizes and ambitions, ranging from start-ups to world-class plcs with particular strengths in the biotech and ICT sectors.
The science and innovation based R&D facilities clustered within Science Vale UK form the basis of a National Centre of Excellence.
This cluster is at the heart of a network that extends across the UK and we will work with the Innovate UK to provide national leadership in the development of this sector.