ICE regions maintain case for infrastructure ahead of May elections

ICE has led the political conversation for infrastructure ahead of May’s devolved elections in London, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, featuring in national, regional, trade and digital media outlets since January.

ICE NI Director Richard Kirk and Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister Michelle McIlveen AM.
ICE NI Director Richard Kirk and Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister Michelle McIlveen AM.

Prior to the UK General Election last year, ICE called on parliamentarians and those seeking office to commit to infrastructure. This resulted in a number of key successes for ICE, including a commitment from all major parties to prioritise infrastructure in their election manifestos, and media coverage in key titles, including The Times, The Daily Telegraph, City A.M. and the London Evening Standard.

Continuing the political engagement campaign, ICE has set out its priorities for infrastructure ahead of the upcoming devolved elections. Manifestos have been launched in Northern Ireland, London, Scotland and Wales, each urging politicians in the devolved assemblies to commit to infrastructure and include bespoke recommendations in their political manifestos. Calls for each nation centred on ensuring the delivery of key projects, the resilience of the networks and securing long term investment.

The four manifestos generated more than 60 pieces of coverage in national, regional, trade and online media outlets. A column in the Evening Standard echoed ICE London’s call for a more radical approach to securing the £1.3trillion investment needed in the capital’s infrastructure by 2050. The Belfast Telegraph repeated ICE NI’s call for more investment into local infrastructure on three separate occasions. ICE Scotland and ICE Wales Cymru’s manifesto calls appeared in both trade and regional outlets – reinforcing ICE’s public message that politicians should commit to investment in infrastructure, deliver the skills needed to build projects, and that infrastructure should be designed to stand the test of time.

ICE’s recommendations have also resonated with devolved political leaders. Following the ICE NI Manifesto launch at Stormont with Northern Irelands’ Regional Development Minister, Michelle McIlveen AM, ICE NI and the Northern Irish Executive’s Department for Employment and Learning have since launched a new Level 3 civil engineering apprenticeship, which was developed in collaboration with Further Education colleges and industry partners in Northern Ireland. The announcement represents a key success for ICE’s political engagement activity, creating more opportunity for young people in Northern Ireland to pursue civil engineering careers.

Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Finance and Government Business, received ICE Wales Cymru’s manifesto at the Senedd and Business and Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP met ICE Scotland following their launch. Ahead of the London Mayoral elections ICE London is holding a sold out hustings event on April 4, where all six leading candidates will gather to present their vision for London infrastructure.