Was it possible to identify a robust investment pathway?

Innovative methodologies were needed due to the high number of variables considered (climate change and forecasted built development increases). The methodology is robust through an economic lens when viewed as intended at a regional scale. However, the hydrological/intervention selection methodology is not considered robust at a more local scale. As such the outputs from the study are not robust enough to use to make individual investment decisions.

Could the outputs be used in the intended way to influence investment?

The results can be used to evidence that early investment in flood protection in the region provides the greatest return on investment and how this level of investment changes based on changes in the climate and growth. It also provides a no/low regrets investment pathway.
However due to the Oxford to Cambridge Arc’s change from being directed through a centrally led Spatial Framework, there is no central or strategic place to target future influencing. Local Councils across the region have expressed commitment to work together, some of them signing up to the pan regional partnership, it is thought that these local stakeholders would be keen to breakdown the results to smaller geographical areas, which is not advisable (or sometimes possible) based on the methodology used.
The outputs of this project could be used, in some parts of the region, specifically where combined authorities or County Councils operate at a more strategic scale and may have the remit and skills to manage investment under the new levelling up agenda. RFCCs could also potentially play an active role in using the output, because they can provide a strategic overview of flood risk management investment.
The results could be used to influence HM Treasury/national organisations, however, because the study area only represents 8% of England’s land a case study approach may be most suitable. A key lesson for undertaking a similar project in the future would be to ensure that end users for the results are identified who fully engage from project inception and who are committed to acting on the results. Results from this project could be used as an example to help with these early conversations.