The Scottish Government has confirmed the completion of a new infrastructure commission for Scotland (ICS), which aims to develop a 30-year strategy for improvements across the country.
The final members have been announced for the group which will be chaired by Ian Russell. The newly-appointed commissioners are professor Iain Docherty, Ken Gillespie, Benny Higgins, Mary Pitcaithly, Rachel Skinner, Grahame Smith, Sara Thiam, John Trower and professor Janette Webb.
Under the new National Infrastructure Commission, Scottish ministers have committed to steadily increasing annual investment so it is £1.56 billion more in 2025-26 than in 2019-20, meaning more than £25bn in infrastructure investment through the next parliament.
The Infrastructure Commission will provide long-term strategic advice to the Scottish Government on national infrastructure priorities, based on evidence and learning from good practice, to align investment with long-term inclusive economic growth and low carbon objectives.
Last October, on the opening day of SNP conference in Glasgow, the government announced that it was seeking to establish an infrastructure commission to advise on which projects should be at the heart of its £7bn national infrastructure investments plan.
It was here that ministers said the body would also be charged with the role of examining whether a Scottish National Infrastructure Company should be formed.
Should it become a reality then it could spark the end for private financing of major projects within the country meaning companies like the now defunct Carillion would be axed from any future delivery.
Delegates at the conference last year voted overwhelmingly in favour of replacing privately financed schemes with a state-run infrastructure agency.
Commenting on the completion of the line-up, Scotland’s infrastructure secretary Michael Matheson, said: “I am delighted the Infrastructure Commission is starting its work. We know the value of investing in infrastructure goes beyond the physical homes, schools and hospitals we see in everyday life. It also unlocks economic potential, supports jobs and allows our businesses and communities to strengthen and grow. And it plays a crucial role in connecting our people, businesses and communities. It is really important stakeholders and people across Scotland have their say about what is needed and how it might best be delivered.”