England's Economic Heartland

Stretching from Swindon to Cambridgeshire and from Northamptonshire to Hertfordshire, England’s Economic Heartland brings political and business leaders together to realise the region's economic potential while working towards net-zero.

England’s Economic Heartland is at the forefront of planning and promoting the transport infrastructure and policy framework required to realise our region’s economic potential while reducing the transport system’s impact on the environment.

As one of seven sub‑national transport bodies, we are jointly funded by the Department for Transport and our local authority partners.

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Our strategic role includes the following areas:

  • PRIORITISING INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT: We advise government and its agencies on the infrastructure investment priorities that are needed to deliver the vision of the region’s transport strategy, ‘Connecting People, Transforming Journeys’. Our advice is based on our comprehensive evidence base and extensive engagement with our local authority partners.
  • SHAPING THE AGENDA: We help shape the national transport agenda by offering fresh perspectives, challenging conventional wisdoms and representing our partners’ interests and issues to Whitehall. Our collaborative relationships allows us to provide a new level of support and advice to government as policies and proposals are developed and implemented, including on the big strategic challenges facing the country such as planning for net zero (EEH leads the collaboration on net zero between the STBs).
  • DEVELOPING INVESTABLE PROPOSITIONS: Beginning this financial year, we will be bringing forward infrastructure priorities into investable propositions by producing pre‑strategic outline business cases, based on a robust prioritisation framework to be agreed by our partners.
  • SUPPORTING OUR LOCAL AUTHORITIES: EEH helps local authorities realise the ambitions for their places. We develop the tools and facilitate the shared learning and best practice which allows them to understand how the big strategic challenges relate to their local areas and to identify the potential solutions. We are supporting the capacity and skills of our local authorities by developing a regional ‘centre for excellence’ – a hub for the development of our partners’ early‑stage transport schemes.
  • HARNESSING INNOVATION: Our region is world‑renowned for its centres of scientific and technological excellence, including in future mobility. We work with private and public sector partners to harness this innovation for the benefit of the region and the wider UK.
  • COORDINATING INVESTMENT: Our regional scale allows us to join up strategic transport planning across borders and modes, with a focus on place based solutions which protect and enhance their environment and support net zero. We also help maximise the return on investment in strategic infrastructure, using it as a catalyst for improving local and digital connectivity and regenerating areas

work flow

Sub-national transport bodies

Sub-national transport bodies produce a transport strategy for their region and advise the government on investment priorities. There are seven sub-national transport bodies covering the entirety of England outside of London.

Strategic Delivery Partners

Seven private sector companies form EEH's Strategic Delivery Partners Group: Kier, WSP, Jacobs, Ringway Jacobs, Skanska, Volker Fitzpatrick and Atkins.

All the companies involved in the group currently provide services and works for one or more of the councils which make up EEH, following their respective competitive tender processes. They work collaboratively to provide technical advice to EEH on its work programme, ensuring its commissions offer best value for money and benefit from the latest thinking and technological developments.

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England's Economic Heartland leadership

​Cllr Richard Wenham

Chair, England's Economic Heartland

Leader, Central Bedfordshire Council

Cllr Liz Leffman

Vice-Chair, England's Economic Heartland

Leader, Oxfordshire County Council

England's Economic Heartland business unit:

  • Naomi Green: managing director
  • Fiona Foulkes: business manager
  • Suzanne Winkels: principal technical lead
  • James Golding-Graham: decarbonisation and innovation manager
  • Abi Nichols: project lead
  • Trevor Brennan: project lead
  • Sherin Francis: capacity and capability lead
  • Nathalie Mazhunga: project officer
  • Erin Pitcher: business operations assistant
  • Hanane Elmaarouf: business operations assistant
  • Adam King: communications and policy manager

The business unit pictured with Chair Cllr Richard Wenham at the EEH conference 2022

EEH team with Chair Cllr Richard Wenham