Following last year's establishment of the National Infrastructure Commission chaired by Lord Adonis, the NIDP has been introduced to replace the National Infrastructure Plan. The aim of the plan is to set out what infrastructure will be built and where, focusing specifically on what will be delivered over the next five years to 2020-21. This includes the publication of a refreshed Infrastructure Pipeline of investment in infrastructure projects and programmes across sectors.
Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord O'Neill set out plans for public capital investment of over £100 billion at an event held at ICE's One Great George Street Headquarters, the "perfect" place for the launch according to Lord O'Neill.
The pipeline of over 600 infrastructure projects and programmes represents an investment of £425 billion, of which £297 billion will be spent over the next five years. This includes large-scale housing and regeneration projects alongside key social infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and prisons.
Tony Meggs, Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) also spoke at the event, and explained how the IPA intends to help improve the delivery and performance of infrastructure projects. He told the audience, which included a host of high profile industry leaders, that the IPA will look to improve project appraisal and selection. He also said that it would provide project support and assurance as well as prioritising interdependence and resilience. It will report annually on the progress of the Plan from next year. The Government also published a new Construction Strategy – building on the 2011 Construction Strategy - that commits to reducing the cost of projects by £1.7 billion during this Parliament through the use of innovation and efficiency.
Commenting on the NIDP, Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Director General Nick Baveystock said:
"The National Infrastructure Plan has evolved steadily since 2010, and this new iteration of the plan and pipeline builds on the progress made, improving visibility for investors and the supply chain. The shift in focus to delivery over 5 years sets a fresh tone – one of 'spades in the ground' - and we welcome the recognition that this must be complemented by a vision for the longer term.
"This brings to the fore the role of the National Infrastructure Commission in setting out the UK's priorities up to 2050, and the importance of a robust needs assessment to underpin any vision. ICE is leading a coalition of organisations to produce an independent needs assessment. This will be published in the autumn and provided to the Commission to support its own analysis."
As the voice of infrastructure, ICE is leading a coalition of business, academic, environment and industry experts to produce an independent 'National Needs Assessment' (NNA). It will be published in the autumn and provided to the NIC to feed into its own National Infrastructure Assessment.
As part of the National Needs Assessment (NNA) call for evidence we are hosting a number of events throughout April to ensure we can engage with the entire infrastructure community. These events will test and challenge some of the written submissions, but also give attendees the opportunity to engage in the wider debate regarding delivery of infrastructure in the UK.