About Cambridge Ahead

Our vision is to make Cambridge the greatest small city in the world, creating regional prosperity.

Our purpose is to be a catalyst for the success of Cambridge and quality of life across the city region.

What we do
We promote sustainable economic growth and quality of life. We work closely with local and national government and other key stakeholders to generate action in support of the primary role of statutory bodies. We highlight both the opportunities and needs of the region by producing data, undertaking research, analysing topics and contributing to policy considerations.

We add value through:

  • Influencing local and national decision-making with highly respected evidence and insight from research partners such as the University of Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin University, and RAND Europe.
  • Active involvement in delivery where we and our members can add expertise and capacity to priority schemes
  • Leading by example by showcasing the progressive place-making activities of our members.

Our Principles

We influence decision-making by bringing credible research, evidence and expertise to the table and thereby helping shape and accelerate delivery for the advancement of the Cambridge economy and the wider region.

  • Focus – we identify and focus on the key long-term issues to support effective policy making
  • Maintain, update and provide research and data – that determines and informs policies to deliver long-term sustainable growth
  • Plan – we develop thinking and reach policy positions by engaging our membership, with clear governance to ensure that the organisation is able to provide a firm, nimble and responsive voice on key issues
  • Execute – we stimulate debate to influence key decision-makers and initiate change. We disseminate our evidence and communicate it openly

We will achieve this vision for Cambridge by the harnessing of the exceptional expertise and resource that exists across the Cambridge Ahead membership. We create shared objectives, but also create space to innovate and trailblaze. 

Our Objectives

We are committed to the full implementation of the 27 recommendations within the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER), which we will monitor at a strategic level and will use to prioritise activity within our thematic groups. Our current focusses are:

  • Spatial planning - informing the next set of local and regional spatial plans reflecting the evidence and analysis demonstrating the growth opportunities for the Cambridge economy and wider quality of life considerations
  • Infrastructure – accelerating and supporting the delivery of priority schemes critical to the future growth of Cambridge
  • Housing provision – defining the nature and scale of housing that should be brought forward in new developments to meet the modern needs of workers and residents
  • Skills and education – generating research, policy proposals and showcasing best practice that improves the supply of skilled workforces for local employers
  • Travel – working with local authorities and transport providers to deliver immediate improvements to the connectivity of Cambridge
  • Technology - mapping the investment needed to upgrade the digital connectivity of the Cambridge region to enable business, research and education to all make the transition to greater levels of remote working
  • New Era for the Cambridge Economy - investigating how behavioural change may impact how an economy like Cambridge may function now and into the future

We will seek to establish Quality of Life as the core principle that will underpin the future growth of the city. It is imperative we consider the relationship between well-being and quality of life for all communities, ensuring not only the need for better transport and affordable housing, but helping to reduce inequality, improve health, and support the environment.

The Operational Board

The Operational Board monitor the progress of all projects undertaken by the organisation. It is responsible for all aspects of corporate governance, including oversight of the finances. It is accountable to the members.

Our Members

The current membership includes some of Cambridge’s most influential organisations. Our 49 members represent a working population of approximately 40,000 people in Cambridge. View our current members here.


07548 832 833


Sarah Brereton, Director, Limewash
07796 583 223

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