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Infrastructure UK may be at risk

Contractors have this week written to chancellor George Osborne urging him to clarify the position of Infrastructure UK (IUK) and its work to develop a long term national infrastructure strategy.

IUK was set up by the Treasury in December last year with the remit of driving increased investment in infrastructure.

It was tasked with developing a national infrastructure framework, alongside the process for the next spending review, so that schemes could be prioritised and timed in the context of a long-term, cross-departmental view of infrastructure needs.

It is also conducting an investigation into the cost of civil engineering works for major infrastructure projects, building on “existing evidence” of “potentially high costs” of UK schemes compared with the rest of Europe.

In his last budget in March former chancellor Alistair Darling asked for conclusions and recommendations from the investigation to be published by the end of 2010.

Clarity

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association has now written to Osborne urging for clarity on whether this work will continue.

“IUK and the ideas behind it gained widespread support within the infrastructure sector, where it was identified as having the potential to enable government to deliver a better infrastructure network and to do so in a way that would increasingly deliver efficiencies in public spending” says the letter, signed by national director Rosemary Beales.

“It also has an important role to play in delivering innovative means of funding, such as the Green Investment Bank. As chancellor you are now in a position to influence this and we hope you will guarantee its future.”

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