UK business, industry, environment and academic leaders unite to get to heart of future infrastructure needs

A coalition of business, industry, academic and environment leaders have issued a nationwide call for evidence to inform an independent assessment of the UK’s future infrastructure needs and how they could be met. The project has the support of Lord Adonis, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) and the findings will inform the work of the NIC.

  • Updated: 25 January, 2016
  • Author: Kate Ison

The coalition undertaking the "National Needs Assessment" is being chaired by Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) President and NIC Commissioner Sir John Armitt and was announced at his ICE presidential address in November. It includes ICE, CBI, KPMG, Pinsent Masons, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Graham Dalton (former Highways Agency CEO), National Grid, London First, Green Alliance, Transport for Greater Manchester, Thames Water and the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

The needs assessment will be based on evidence gathered during the nationwide consultation launched today, evidence hearings, research being undertaken by the Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium, and a vast pool of data and analysis. It will take into account factors such as climate change, population growth and technological "game changers". It will also review different options for meeting the UK's needs, considering affordability, public acceptability and environmental obligations. A report will be published in the autumn, setting out a vision for UK infrastructure up to 2050 and a series of interventions Government and industry will need to make to realise the vision.

Sir John Armitt said: "Effective infrastructure drives growth, supports job creation and creates thriving, sustainable societies. But infrastructure is expensive, can be disruptive during construction, and requires fine political judgement so resources are best used to meet the country's needs.

"The National Infrastructure Commission has been established to provide dispassionate analysis on these long term needs, and act as a catalyst for reaching consensus so vital projects are built. The recommendations it makes must therefore be robust, evidence based and help policy-makers with the often difficult and controversial decisions they have to take.

"This coalition of leading organisations has united to provide the Commission with an independent view on infrastructure, which it can feed into its work. We all share a common goal – the development of a long term infrastructure strategy which drives the economic growth necessary to enhance the UK's position in the global economy, support a high quality of life and enable a shift to a low carbon future.

"Our independent, evidence based needs assessment will result in a shared vision to 2050 and set out options for delivering the vision. We will harness the coalition's broad expertise and importantly, open the infrastructure debate up to all with a stake through our wide consultation."

Find out more about the call for evidence and get involved at:

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.