Statement on the publication of the UK's National Infrastructure Assessment
UK Infrastructure Managing Director David Whysall comments on the National Infrastructure Assessment released by the National Infrastructure Commission earlier this week.
“The National Infrastructure Assessment sets out a bold vision for a UK which is better connected, more sustainable and more productive. The onus is now on Government, infrastructure clients and the construction supply chain to back and deliver this vision.
The most obvious challenge is funding and financing. Against a backdrop of constrained Government spending and unsecured European funding commitments, it’s fundamental that we attract private investment – both domestic and international – into infrastructure.
“The success of the investment relies on confidence of industry to deliver; we must work hard to build it. From Government, we need a secure pipeline of projects with political backing. We also need to see Government lead the adoption of “capable client” principles, driving a change in delivery models and transition towards modern forms of procurement. We need infrastructure owners and operators explore different funding models and work with the market to create and demonstrate world-class delivery capability to investors. Finally, it’s essential that we prove that the infrastructure supply chain can gear up to meet demand, with the talent, skills, technology and capabilities in place as supported by the new Construction Sector Deal.
We all also need to play our part in raising the profile and brand of the sector. Infrastructure is critical to the economic and social sustainability of a post-Brexit UK.
“However at present public support for major programmes and in the operators of our infrastructure is mixed, with many questioning the value of capital investment and priority given to the sector against other Government priorities. We must all work hard to secure public support for the investment and showcase a modern sector with the needs of the customer at its heart, a sector that is also the catalyst for a globally competitive Britain.
“These are structural challenges to overcome, but the NIA – coupled with the growing volume of new thinking across the industry – sets out a positive route map for change.”