Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority has agreed to form an arm’s length body to take forward the delivery of the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM).
The authority will wholly own the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) as its direct subsidiary body and retain the strategic decision-making role over the CAM.
Image from Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority
The authority’s board approved the creation of the SPV at meeting on Wednesday.
Combined authority mayor James Palmer has advocated a ‘One CAM’ approach, combining the CAM’s various workstreams and route section projects into one, integrated scheme. The authority said the need to put the CAM’s delivery on this footing is one of the key reasons for the establishment of the SPV.
The authority said that other benefits of an SPV are that it will bring together the right leadership to drive the scheme forward, within a tailored governance structure that will provide the assurance necessary for a programme of this size.
It added that it will also provide the commercial environment necessary to attract investment and credibly promote the scheme to Government.
The authority said it intends that the SPV will be ‘agile and flexible, bringing in the appropriate resource and expertise when needed as the CAM moves through its delivery phases’.
In advance of the decision, Mr Palmer, said: ‘The formation of an SPV will be just the start of an exciting, dynamic and very necessary new phase of the CAM’s delivery.
‘The combined authority as an organisation can only take the development of a programme of this significance so far. The CAM is one of the largest infrastructure programmes in the UK and, like with other major schemes such as East West Rail, HS2 and Crossrail, it now needs a separate body geared specifically towards its delivery.
‘With an SPV in place, led by an outstanding chair and board, we will be better able to champion the CAM as one joined-up, transformational scheme. This will help attract the necessary funding, confidence and support from Government and investors, and enable closer working with key partners.’