ICE welcomes commitment to investment in infrastructure from Government in the Autumn Budget
The Government’s commitment to a Construction Sector Deal and a pipeline supporting infrastructure and construction projects has been welcomed by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
The Chancellor’s announcement of £170 million for the Construction Sector Deal, as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge, alongside a commitment to make off-site construction the delivery mechanism of choice for Department for Education, Department of Health, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Defence, means that the UK’s construction industry will be able to:
- Significantly increase the use of off-site manufacturing while rebalancing jobs more equitably throughout the country; improve value for money from public investment and minimise disruption to local communities during the construction process.
- Reduce the cost to the public over the life-time of assets such as roads, rail and energy projects.
- Give the construction industry the chance to build sustainable and resilient businesses for future jobs and UK expertise.
This announcement comes as Government confirms £44 billion in capital funding, loans and guarantees to deliver 300,000 homes by the mid-2020s and an infrastructure and construction pipeline worth as much as £600 billion over the next decade – the largest figure ever committed.
This is a longer term commitment for infrastructure than has previously been made, which allows for sustainable strategic planning from industry, providing the platform for investing innovation and skills.
Commenting on the Chancellor’s Budget announcement, Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Director General Nick Baveystock said: “The UK is a long way from having the modern infrastructure networks that are required by a world-leading economy. It is ranked 28th in the World Economic Forum’s ranking for infrastructure, a statistic that underlines how our roads, railways and airports lack the capacity the public needs at peak times. So we are delighted that the Government is making such a strong commitment to transforming the country’s infrastructure.
“The construction sector deal is a clear commitment and the right way to go if we are to remain globally competitive. The devil will clearly be in the detail, but recognising that our economic future is based on world class cutting edge infrastructure is a huge step forward. As an industry we now need to step up to seize the opportunities the sector deal offers.”
The chancellor has also committed to better connectivity for our major urban centres. This has come in the form of their vision for an ambitious integrated programme of infrastructure, housing, business investment and development. This is in addition to commit to further regional pilots across the UK. This was something that ICE recommended in its budget submission.
This is further supported by the chancellor’s launch of the £1.7 billion Transforming Cities Fund that will look to improve transport links and promote local growth within city regions.
In addition the Government will introduce legislation that will put Transport for the North (TfN) on a legislative footing. This is very much in line with ICE’s recommendations in the Delivering Northern Infrastructure Strategy report published in September.
Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Director General Nick Baveystock said: “By encouraging and promoting the links between our towns and cities the Government is paving the way for combined economic activity, making the passage of goods, services and ideas between businesses and universities substantially easier.
“Improving the North’s transport networks will lead to faster, more frequent and reliable journeys, raising not just economic productivity but the quality of people’s everyday lives. We would urge Parliament to approve these measures so TfN can take the next steps to enhance network integration and connectivity, ensuring that the region fully benefits from HS2. This was one of the key recommendations in ICE’s budget submission and we urge MPs both North and South to support this effort.
“Infrastructure is not a series of stand-alone assets. It delivers benefits through complex networks that need to be precisely managed. If we do not take the right steps, we will lose out on the opportunities that the future holds.”
ICE is an international membership organisation that promotes and advances civil engineering around the world. ICE is a qualifying body, a centre for the exchange of specialist knowledge, and a provider of resources to encourage innovation and excellence in the profession worldwide. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org - t: +44 (0)1223 842067