The National Needs Assessment (NNA) brought together a coalition including industry, investors, environmental, legal and professional bodies, and politicians and opinion formers to deliver a 35 year view of the changing demands on infrastructure services. The NNA vision imagines a nation with balanced economic growth, thriving communities and a low carbon future. It sets out how the UK can become a world leader in a new technology-driven revolution in infrastructure services.
It is a blueprint for the National Infrastructure Commission’s own National Infrastructure Assessment, due to be published in 2018. In addition, it recommends areas for immediate attention through the NIC’s shorter term reports.
Following Sir John Armitt’s call for evidence, over 50 formal submissions were received which were fed into the findings and recommendations. A series of engagement events and workshops were also held across the UK to test and challenge some of the written submissions. Culminating at KPMG’s London offices in Canada Square earlier this year, they also give attendees the opportunity to engage in the wider debate regarding delivery of infrastructure in the UK.
In total, over 400 organisations and individuals engaged with the process which was picked up widely across national and trade media, as well as across social media using #UKInfraNeeds.
Academic research was undertaken by Oxford University’s Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium which also formed part of the evidence base, along with other economic and environmental data.
The launch event was introduced by ICE Director General Nick Baveystock who thanked members of the NNA Executive Group for their time and generosity. He also pointed out the talent pool that exists within the industry and what can be achieved through collaboration.
Speaking at the event was Adam Cooper, from the National Infrastructure Commission and The Rt Hon David Gauke MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, whose responsibilities include infrastructure deals. He said:
“This is a very impressive, well thought-out and well evidenced analysis of what our infrastructure needs will be over the next few decades.
"One of my top priorities is to make sure we make sensible choices about how we invest to meet our long-term infrastructure needs and this National Needs Assessment will make an invaluable contribution to the decisions that are ultimately made. “
The panel also included Professor Jim Hall of Oxford University and Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium.
Sir John Armitt took the audience through the findings and recommendations of the report:
"We project 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. Users of infrastructure are increasingly conscious and vocal about the everyday challenges presented by these demands. We must deliver services that enable productivity, health and wellbeing and balanced economic growth.
"This assessment is not a list of projects and the UK cannot afford to spend its way out of challenges by building more capacity. Technology, supported by the right policies, will enable new and existing infrastructure to be used much more efficiently.
"The country needs a clear strategy, management and establishment of critical standards for our infrastructure to sustain and improve quality of life and business competitiveness in a modern and evolving world. If we don't, we will lose out on many opportunities, particularly in a post Brexit economy."
Energy, Transportation and Digital sectors were shown by the NNA to have the biggest impact on future infrastructure with a number of interdependencies. The NNA believes these three sectors will have the greatest impact on people’s lives in 2050 and steps need to be taken now to address challenges.
View a copy of the report along with the submissions from the NNA page.