Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, has announced the creation of a forum to bring government and industry together to help deliver the UK’s present and future infrastructure needs.
The formation of the National Infrastructure Plan Strategic Engagement Forum (NIPSEF) was announced at a fringe event at the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton.
NIPSEF will bring together key representatives from the infrastructure delivery supply chain, the investment and advisory community, asset owners, managers and regulators, and representatives of the business end users of infrastructure.
It will ensure that government is able to call on industry to facilitate delivery of the government’s national infrastructure plan.
The forum will be formally launched this autumn. It will be co-chaired by the chief secretary to the Treasury on behalf of the government and Dr Nelson Ogunshakin OBE from the Infrastructure Alliance on behalf of industry. The industry chair will rotate among the senior members of the alliance.
Ogunshakin said: “The national infrastructure plan is the government’s most important strategic programme to deliver infrastructure, the core driver to UK economic growth. Delivering such an ambitious programme of infrastructure expansion on this scale means bringing government and industry together to successfully achieve this goal.
“This new National Infrastructure Plan Strategic Engagement Forum will place the expertise of industry at the heart of government to make that happen.”
Future co-chair of the forum, Nick Baveystock, director general of the Institution of Civil Engineers, said: “Establishing the UK’s first ever national infrastructure plan was a victory in itself, but the challenge now lies in actually delivering it.
“Providing potential investors with confidence that the plan is progressing, and quickly identifying and resolving problems, will be central to achieving that and ICE has long called for a permanent, independent forum to act as platform for this dialogue. The creation of the forum is therefore excellent news and I am confident that this high level, strategic engagement between all the key players will prove invaluable, particularly with the support of the chief secretary to the Treasury.
“I look forward to co-chairing in the future and facilitating a forum with the drive and conviction to make this important plan work.”
The Infrastructure Alliance brings together the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, the Construction Products Association and the Institution of Civil Engineers.
The alliance works in close partnership with CITB ConstructionSkills, the sector skills council for the industry.