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ICE leads talks with Infrastructure UK minister

The ICE brought together a group of high level industry figures last week to meet the minister for trade, investment and small business Lord Davies, and discuss the role and aims of the government advisory body, Infrastructure UK.

A number of issues were discussed at the meeting, including the need for long-term thinking on UK infrastructure networks and the challenge of generating long-term finance for infrastructure projects in existing capital markets.

ICE vice president Geoff French, who chaired the meeting, said that for the UK to be competitive in the future, it will need the right skills base, corporate environment, governance and infrastructure.

“Without effective infrastructure, the UK can’t meet the challenges of climate change and an increasing population.”

He said: “Without effective infrastructure, the UK also cannot hope to meet the challenges of climate change and an increasing population.” Depoliticising infrastructure development was also raised.

French said this would be important in securing long-term planning and funding, and providing certainty to industry and investors.

Lord Davies has asked for input from industry via the ICE on the challenges and solutions for these issues.

The group, known as the ICE Strategic Infrastructure Group, includes chief executives and directors from majorcompanies. It was formed in 2008 and meets twice a year to discuss the most pressing infrastructure issues.

Infrastructure UK, for which Lord Davies is responsible, is set to provide a focal point for planning and prioritising investment for infrastructure projects in the coming years.

The ICE has been working closely with the government to help define the remit of the new body, and establish how it will work alongside existing initiatives, such as the Infrastructure Planning Commission and the National Policy Statements.

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