Politicians and other local dignitaries based in the North East joined three leading civil engineering bodies for a special event looking at how to maximise infrastructure funding opportunities across the region.
The Importance of Infrastructure event last month was organised jointly by the North East regions of the ICE, the Association for Consultancy & Engineering (ACE) and the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA).
The keynote speaker was shadow competitiveness minister Iain Wright. He has specific responsibility for the construction sector and, during the event, called for cross-party collaboration and longer term policy stability, to boost private investors’ confidence.
The event was also attended by, Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham and North Tyneside MP Mary Glindon, as well as representatives of the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships and local civil engineers.
Last February the ICE, ACE and CECA launched a joint-report calling for North Eastern industries and local authorities to work together with the government to deliver the infrastructure the region needs to compete.
Since then the three engineering bodies have been working together to promote and obtain the region’s fair share of government infrastructure cash.
ICE North East chairman John Jeffrey said: “This event was the latest stage in bringing together the various regional stakeholders with those influencers who can deliver our message on a national and regional level.
“As well as providing greater connectivity between the North East and other parts of the UK and the rest of the world, to boost regional growth, improved infrastructure will help to continue creating jobs and developing skills.”
CECA North East director and secretary Douglas Kell said: “HM Treasury’s National Infrastructure Plan states that infrastructure networks are the ‘backbone of a modern economy’. Action is now needed to back up these words.”
- A copy of the report launched earlier this year can be downloaded from www.ice.org.uk/ne_infrastructure