Over 100 industry and business leaders gathered at the ICE headquarters last week as the Treasury’s Infrastructure UK (IUK) team presented the country’s first ever National Infrastructure Plan.
Speaking at the event, IUK chief executive James Stewart said the infrastructure plan was a vision “not just for delivering a low carbon economy, but for upgrading our existing infrastructure networks, reducing the demand for infrastructure and reducing the risks associated with investing in infrastructure.”
Stewart added that the plan - which set out an investment requirement of £200bn - was only a start, and would “develop and mature” into a framework for future decades.
Crucial government role
He also acknowledged the government’s “crucial role” in assessing the UK’s infrastructure needs, identifying the investment barriers and mobilising funding resources.
Commercial secretary to the treasury Lord Sassoon also reassured assembled stakeholders that the government’s plan “is not just another document setting out aspirations, but a clear move from the ‘stop start’ approach that has bedevilled everything we do”.
ICE director general Tom Foulkes heralded the long-awaited National Infrastructure Plan as “a victory in itself, demonstrating strong political commitment”, but he urged the government to now continue its commitment and maintain momentum in order to build investor confidence.
A range of industry stakeholders voiced their support for the plan. Balfour Beatty chief operating officer Andrew McNaughton said the plan was “a long-awaited and important first step, not only in creating sustainable communities but in encouraging further investment”.
Vinci chairman John Stanion added: “Investment in transport infrastructure, communications, energy, waste treatment and the environment is exactly the way to improve competitiveness,
create wealth and stimulate growth and job creation.
The UK construction industry is ready to deliver solutions in a timely, efficient and cost effective and sustainable way.”