Turner & Townsend backs UK2070 Commission inaugural report

Patricia Moore

Managing Director UK

UK

Turner & Townsend is backing the recommendations of a new report by the UK2070 Commission, an independent inquiry into regional inequalities.

The preliminary report – ‘Fairer and Stronger: Rebalancing the UK Economy’ – launched today has been produced by the UK2070 Commission and calls for a new national spatial strategy.

The group is chaired by Lord Kerslake, the former head of the Home Civil Service, and supported by researchers from UK universities and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a US think-tank which studies quality of life.

Commenting on the interim report Patricia Moore, Managing Director UK at Turner & Townsend, said:

“The Commission’s first interim report is an important step in helping to facilitate a wider debate around UK infrastructure and the vital role it plays in economic wealth distribution and social mobility.

“Against a backdrop of regional economic inequality, major programmes such as HS2, Heathrow expansion and Northern Powerhouse rail must now progress quickly. They all provide the opportunity to rebalance the economy, creating new jobs, business opportunities and improved social and economic outcomes across the UK.

“Despite this significant UK pipeline of projects, the absence of the context provided by a spatial strategy has failed to enable investment continuity and limited the effectiveness of the investments made in isolated major projects. As noted by the Commission, projects such as the Cambridge - Milton Keynes - Oxford proposal have currently not been set within a wider network of national connections.

“This is a missed opportunity and the Commission’s recommendations to create a more integrated approach to national and regional infrastructure projects has significant potential to join up disparate projects.

“The report findings also consider an enhanced role for the National Infrastructure Commission and it’s now critical that Government commits to the recommendations from both organisations.”

As an active supporter of the UK2070 Commission, Turner & Townsend has chaired focus groups to help inform the research.

These industry events have brought together clients, policymakers and consultants to discuss the opportunities for trans-regional bodies, as well as the potential to position a new National Spatial Framework.

The first stage of the UK2070 Commission’s report will be discussed at a National Symposium in Leeds on 13 June. A second event in London will be held later this year, with a final report launched in early 2020.