Autumn Statement: Chancellor right to place infrastructure at heart of announcement

ICE Director General welcomes the prioritisation of infrastructure in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

Nick Baveystock, Director General of the Institution of Civil Engineers commented:

'The Chancellor is right to make infrastructure's ability to enable economic growth and thriving communities the main feature of the Autumn Statement. Following the recommendation made in the ICE led National Needs Assessment, the Chancellor announced that he will provide infrastructure targeted at unlocking new private house building in the areas where housing need is greatest. This links social and economic infrastructure together enabling an integrated approach to infrastructure delivery that will provide places where people will want to live and work.

'The ICE headlined that demands from population growth, demographic changes, climate change and economic trends will alter how infrastructure is used. The new National Productivity Investment Fund will provide £23billion over the next 5 years into housing, transport, digital and research and development. This investment will provide new infrastructure and the ability to use technology to manage capacity of our networks more effectively.

'Borrowing powers for regions to finance new infrastructure projects also heralds the start of a rebalanced economy. This was a key recommendation from ICE's State of the Nation: Devolution report, published earlier this year, showing Government has listened and acted on the advice of industry.

'Infrastructure is the cornerstone of strong and growing economy and the way to generate prosperity for our everyday way of lives – whether it is through housing, transport or 5G broadband, it transforms lives and strengthens communities.

'We have previously announced that the UK population is set to reach 75 million by 2050 and with that growth there will be an increasing and changing demand for infrastructure services'.

Notes to editors

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) is a leading source of professional expertise in transport, water supply and treatment, flood management, waste and energy. Established in 1818, it has 88,000 members, 25% of whom are based overseas. ICE’s vision is to place civil engineering at the heart of society, delivering sustainable development through knowledge, skills and professional expertise. ICE has long worked with the government of the day to help it to achieve its objectives, and has worked with industry to ensure that construction and civil engineering remain major contributors to the UK economy.

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