New government infrastructure bodies set up

On 1 January 2016 a new infrastructure body for the UK will come into force. The Infrastructure and Projects Authority – formed by the merger of Infrastructure UK (IUK) and the Major Projects Authority (MPA) – will, according to the government, bring ‘the government’s expertise, knowledge and skills at managing and delivering major economic projects under one roof for the first time.’

Covering large scale infrastructure projects such as Crossrail and the Thames Tideway Tunnel- as well as major transformation programmes such as Universal Credit – it will report jointly to the Chancellor and Minister for the Cabinet Office.

The decision comes after the government announced in October the setting up of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) – headed by Lord Adonis – which is to take on IUK’s existing role in assessing and prioritising the UK’s infrastructure needs.

As well as focussing on Northern connectivity, investment in London’s public transport and energy infrastructure, publishing its advice before the next Budget, the NIC will also start work on a national infrastructure assessment for the next 30 years, with the intention being to report at the start of each parliament on national priorities.

Although it’s disappointing that the Construction Strategy is delayed as a result of these changes, this coordinated approach makes sense and the potential benefit to UK plc as a result of a stronger national infrastructure is significant.