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Armitt officially NIC chair

Armitt cropped

Sir John Armitt has been named as the permanent chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), following the resignation of Lord Adonis. 

Armitt, who has been serving as interim chair after Adonis’s departure last month following disagreements with the government, has been a commissioner since the NIC was set up in 2015 and was appointed as deputy chair since last year. 

Industry figures called for Armitt to take over the vacant position in order to maintain momentum and continuity in the Commission’s work.

Announcing the appointment chancellor Philip Hammond said: “Boosting productivity is essential to sustaining real wage growth. And investing in infrastructure is one of the keys to raising our productivity performance.

“The National Infrastructure Commission’s expertise is vital for ensuring the UK’s infrastructure is fit for the future. Sir John Armitt brings years of experience of UK infrastructure. With him at the helm, I am confident we will develop a strategic and ambitious infrastructure plan that supports economic growth for decades to come.”

Armitt has an engineering background and is an ICE past president, a former Network Rail chief executive and was chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority. 

Adonis left the commission after clashing with the government over Brexit and transport secretary Chris Grayling’s alleged “bail out” of the Virgin/Stagecoach East Coast franchise.

The NIC’s assessment of Britain’s infrastructure priorities over the next 30 years is expected to be published in June. An interim report published in October last year warned that the UK is in danger of falling behind if it does not improve infrastructure.

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