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The Economic Growth Steering Board is a sub-group of the Oxford Strategic Partnership which see members working together to promote economic development, growth and regeneration. 

Economic Growth Steering Board Meetings

Find out more about what the OSP and partners are doing on this priority on our Oxford Economic Growth Steering Group Meetings pages.

Oxford - Economy and Place

Oxford is not only one of the UK’s fastest growing cities, it is a global success story, competing among the top technology clusters in the world by being a world leading technology cluster. The city is home to a diverse industrial base with around 5,300 businesses providing 133,000 jobs.

The city is home to two world class universities, and one of the best qualified populations in the country, with the highest concentration of knowledge workers.

Over the last six years, the city has experienced a growth of 19.31% in private sector jobs, one of the fastest outside London. Unemployment has been under 1% for a significant length of time. Oxford’s Gross Value Added per worker is the seventh highest of UK cities. The city also attracts significant inward investment (FDI).

A tourism gateway to the rest of Oxfordshire, the city annually attracts approximately 7 million day time and staying visitors generating £780 million of income for local Oxford businesses. In terms of overseas visitors to the UK, Oxford is the seventh most visited city for staying visits. 

Some key facts about Oxford and the local economy taken from the Fast Growth Cities Report published by Centre for Cities in 2016:

  • Oxford has one of the highest Gross Value Added (GVA) per worker in the country at £58,150
  • Oxford generates high levels of economy tax per worker and consume low levels of government expenditure
  • Oxford is performing particularly well and generating around twice as much in economy taxes as is paid out to them in Government expenditure
  • One reason Oxford generates such large economy taxes is our high employment rate
  • Oxford has seen the sixth fastest rate of growth out of any UK city
  • The strong employment rate has been accompanied by strong private sector jobs growth – 18% in last 5 years
  • Oxford is strong in Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) jobs, which tend to be higher skilled, better paid jobs
  • Oxford is one of the Fast Growth Cities that has seen higher business starts than closures over the last ten years
  • Oxford is an attractive place to live - over the last 10 years, one of the fastest population growth of any UK city. Oxford experienced annual growth rates of around twice that of the UK.  Population of 160,000 – where we were supposed to be in 2021
  • This population growth, while an indication of the attractiveness of these cities, places pressure on infrastructure, particularly transport and housing

The OSP has agreed and adopted The Oxford Economic Growth Strategy. It seeks to:

  • establish a shared narrative on the future direction of the Oxford economy; and
  • define clear strategic priorities, objectives and actions for delivering and managing economic growth in Oxford over the next ten years.

The Oxford Economic Growth Strategy and Action Plan can be downloaded below:

Smart Oxford

The OSP Economic Growth Steering Group oversees the work of Smart Oxford. Smart Oxford is the strategic programme of a wide range of city partners working together to develop and promote Oxford as a smart city.

The Vision of Smart Oxford is of a city where innovative ideas, active citizens, and aligned stakeholders come together to co-create a better Oxford.

Our region has challenging environmental, transportation, social and housing problems, but also the capacity and capability to develop, test and deploy the technologies that can help address them.

Our aim is to build a stronger, safer, economically and environmentally sustainable city, to help its people to identify and be part of city solutions, to provide a testbed for world class researchers and innovators, to generate growth and jobs, to advance economic & social prosperity, and to help improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of city services.

Oxford was one of nine cities represented as finalists at the European Capital of Innovation Awards 2016, held on April 8 2016.  Oxford was recognised with a place on the shortlist 'for its vision to openly share the wealth of knowledge within its world-class innovation ecosystem'. Oxford's bid was developed by the City Council with a team of partners from the County Council, the city's two universities, the Low Carbon Hub, the Student Hub, the Hospital Trust, local businesses and other community organisations.  

For more information see the Smart Oxford website.