Since the project group’s formation, we have been concerned with establishing an authoritative analysis of the current scale, make-up and growth rate of economic activity in the Cambridge city region, defined by a 20-mile radius around Cambridge. We were commissioned by Cambridge Ahead to create a dashboard to monitor growth in Cambridge using the original Cluster Map created by Sherry Coutu and Trampoline Systems as a starting point. We began by updating and re-verifying the original Cluster Map data, adding data from sectors outside of high tech and extending the coverage to all companies, however small; and then putting in place curation to keep it up to date. For the first time, there is now a sound and robust measure of the Cambridge economy, and how it is growing, but it is also possible to wind the clock backwards to see how Cambridge has been growing in the past.
The Cambridge Cluster Insights platform (accessible via the tab above), known initially as Cambridge Cluster Map, was officially launched in July 2016 and is a dataset of information on over 26,000 businesses in the Cambridge city region. Using the new methodology, it specifically monitors the growth of Cambridge-based companies, in terms of their global turnover and global employment, and tracks the number of Cambridge-active companies, and public and charitable sector research organisations.
Cambridge-based companies are those with their primary trading address within this area, or those that do not give a primary trading address but have a registered office in this area. Cambridge-active companies are those who have neither their registered office, nor primary trading address in the Cambridge area but do have a trading address in the area that we have identified, examples being Amazon, Apple and Microsoft. Non-corporate Knowledge-Intensive (KI) organisations are those research institutions that are located in the defined region which are neither companies, nor partnerships. Examples of these are the British Antarctic Survey, the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology and the Wellcome Sanger Institute.
Cambridge Cluster Insights has been refreshed approximately twice a year and will be updated with wholly new data annually. The last update was published in March 2023 and captures the impact of COVID on the Cambridge corporate economy as well as the recovery from the worst effects of the pandemic. A new and improved Cambridge Cluster Insights platform was launched in September 2019. This new platform, which covers twelve years of data for the Cambridge city region as well as each of the six local authority districts in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority area, allows for a dynamic, interactive and timely analysis of the business population in the local region.
View Cambridge Cluster Insights via the tab above.
The work underpinning Cambridge Cluster Insights is disseminated locally, nationally and internationally. For example, we held briefing sessions attended by a large number of local stakeholders, where we discussed the economic geography of the Cambridge city region as well as an economic census of the wider Cambridgeshire and Peterborough region. Our approach and key findings were also presented at a series of workshops and seminars organised by a number of research institutions in China, including Liaoning University, Shenyang Institute of Technology, Shenyang University and Communication University of China.
Find out more about Cambridge Cluster Insights.