On 5 October at the Conservative Party Conference, Chancellor George Osborne announced that a new independent National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) would be created enabling long term strategic decision-making to build effective and efficient infrastructure for the UK.
Former Cabinet Minister and Transport Secretary, Lord Andrew Adonis, has been appointed to lead the Commission as its first chairman.
This is a significant move by government and if effective, offers the infrastructure sector greater visibility of a long-term plan and more certainty.
According to the government’s website*, the key features of the NIC are:
- It has been created immediately on an interim basis, and will later be put into statute
- It will deliver a long-term plan and assessment of national infrastructure needs early in each parliament, setting out what a government is expected to do over the next five years
- It will be overseen by a small board, appointed by the Chancellor, and able to commission research and call for evidence from public sector bodies and private sector experts.
The NIC will initially focus on:
- A plan to transform the connectivity of the Northern cities, including high speed rail (HS3)
- Priorities for future large-scale investment in London’s public transport infrastructure
- How to ensure investment in energy infrastructure can meet future demand in the most efficient way.
The Commission will publish advice to the government on these issues before next year’s Budget. It will also begin work on a national infrastructure assessment, looking ahead to requirements for the next 30 years.
We will be sharing our thoughts on what this means for Britain in the coming weeks…
* Source: extract from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-announces-major-plan-to-get-britain-building