Industry leaders have welcomed the publication of two key documents setting out projected investment of nearly £650bn in the UK’s infrastructure over the rest of the decade.
The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has published the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline 2021 and Transforming Infrastructure Performance: Roadmap to 2030, both of which set out the planned pipeline of infrastructure investment and for the first time sets out the annual average workforce requirement to deliver it.
The 33-page National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline 2021 outlines:
- £650bn of projected public and private investment over the next 10 years;
- £400bn of planned investment in the pipeline, including over £200bn to be invested by 2024/25;
- Supporting 425,000 jobs annually on average between 2021/22 and 2024/25;
- Up to £31bn of planned procurement over the next year.
Meanwhile, the 64-page Transforming Infrastructure Performance: Roadmap to 2030 has five clear areas of focus:
- Focus area 1: Delivering new economic infrastructure to drive improved outcomes for people and nature;
- Focus area 2: Place-based regeneration and delivery;
- Focus area 3: Addressing the need for social infrastructure using a platform approach;
- Focus area 4: Retroftting existing buildings to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050;
- Focus area 5: Optimising the performance of our existing built environment.
Nick Smallwood, chief executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, said: “Delivering excellent infrastructure and the public services that we rely on every day is critical to our national progress, prosperity and well-being. Well planned and delivered projects have never been more important to the UK in driving our economy’s recovery from the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. In setting out planned procurements, investments, and projections of the workforce required to deliver planned investment, this pipeline will support industry in making strategic and informed decisions to their long-term business and project planning.”
Both documents have been warmly welcomed by senior industry figures. A CLC statement said: “On behalf of the construction industry, the CLC welcomes the publication of the TIP: Roadmap to 2030. The industry has worked in partnership with the government to produce the Roadmap, building on the partnership that delivered the Construction Playbook and Our Vision for the Built Environment. These publications set out a shared intent to improve the performance of the infrastructure and buildings the industry delivers, and also how these are delivered: by a world class industry that leaves a legacy of economic, social and environmental improvement.”
Neil Humphrey, COO at Waterman and chair of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering’s (ACE) procurement and pipeline group, said: “We welcome the update to the government’s infrastructure and construction pipeline. Full transparency in this area is crucial to ensuring our members have the right mix of skills, expertise and experience to deliver ambitions to Build Back Better. As the delivery partner of choice for public sector clients, the pipeline’s publication also means we are poised and ready to play our part in enabling swifter delivery and meeting Project Speed’s aspirations.
“The volume and scope of the projects and programmes in the pipeline reveals some of the detail behind commitments for post-pandemic recovery and, longer-term, to a Net Zero future. I’m pleased that ACE was able to support its members to deploy capabilities to best-effect by ensuring that additional project details were provided this year. This was a simple but common-sense improvement which will ensure the document is even more useful for the industry.”
Keith Waller, Construction Innovation Hub programme director, said: "The National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline and the Transforming Infrastructure Performance (TIP): Roadmap to 2030 provide a clear and compelling vision for the next decade. The TIP Roadmap puts societal outcomes, the use of data and digital technology and innovation and improved delivery models at the heart of government infrastructure investment and delivery, which closely aligns with the priorities and focus of the Construction Innovation Hub to drive sector innovation and deliver greater benefits for citizens.
"We will work with government departments to embed platform construction systems, information management and the Value Toolkit in to the pipeline to help to make infrastructure in the UK the best in the world."
Alasdair Reisner, chief executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), said: “Today’s publications set out the radical and ambitious pipeline of work that will enable CECA members to plan for the future, boosting industry confidence and enabling companies to structure the workforce accordingly. The IPA has projected that 425,000 jobs will be supported through this investment annually, which will provide real opportunities to many new entrants to our sector.
“The UK government has stated its ambition of ‘levelling up’ the economy, but industry needs to have a clear sight of forward investment if we are to upskill and recruit the workforce to deliver on this promise. Today’s publications put meat on the bones of the government’s ambitions for the UK economy, providing much-needed detail on how as an industry we are going to deliver schemes that put societal outcomes, innovation, and cutting-edge technology at the forefront of project delivery.
“In particular, our members will be delighted to see the UK government’s plans to transform infrastructure delivery over the rest of the decade - today’s publications set out not just what the pipeline of investment is, but how as a sector we will implement changes to infrastructure delivery and performance, leading to better outcomes for the public and the UK economy as a whole.
“We look forward to continuing to work with our members and both national and devolved governments to ensure we get spades in the ground on this investment as expeditiously as possible, thereby securing economic growth and creating jobs, to the benefit of businesses and communities across all parts of the UK.”
Chris Richards, ICE director of policy said: "Beneath the dense wording and heavy jargon, what today's announcements amount to are a radical new approach to how Britain will deliver future infrastructure projects. The decade-long pipeline gives the construction industry the certainty needed to invest in the talent and machinery to do projects right.
"But it is the Roadmap to 2030 that is really worthy of applause. Developed between industry and government, it puts answering 'what does the public get?' squarely at the centre of future decision-making. It recognises the knock-on effects of infrastructure interventions, reinforces the role of data in unlocking insights and uses the Sustainable Development Goals as a clear true north to guide decision-making on behalf of the public. Policy thinking for ‘levelling-up’ and the second National Infrastructure Assessment would benefit from embedding this approach to ensure we continue to develop a system that best serves the public."
Jon Kelly, strategic growth director at WSP, said: “The publication of the IPA’s Transforming Infrastructure Performance report is both welcome and timely given the dynamic trends transforming our world. The report envisions a future where our industry collectively prioritises societal outcomes, using data, technology and improved delivery models to achieve them through our interventions in the built environment. The arrival of TIP should be lauded for its bold vision and how it speaks to purpose, aligning how we all deliver our services in the natural and built environments.”
Click here to download the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline 2021.
Click here to download the Transforming Infrastructure Performance: Roadmap to 2030.