Sir John Armitt, a former chief executive of Costain and Network Rail, a past president of the Institution of Civil Engineers and erstwhile chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, has been deputy chair of the NIC since its establishment in 2015.
Chancellor Philip Hammond said: “Sir John Armitt brings years of experience of UK infrastructure. With him at the helm, I am confident we will develop a strategic and ambitious infrastructure plan that supports economic growth for decades to come.”
Lord Andrew Adonis, a former Labour apparatchik who moved to the cross-benches to take on the NIC job for the Conservative government, decided this month that he no longer had the stomach for working for a government with which he had fundamental policy disagreements, notably over Brexit and rail policy.
Sir John Armitt said he was delighted to be taking over. “I look forward to working with my fellow Commissioners and listening to our stakeholders as we set out the way forward for the UK’s infrastructure,” he said.
Civils contractors were also happy to see Sir John’s previously interim appointment made permanent. Marie-Claude Hemming, director of external affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association said: “Sir John is ideally placed to lead the National Infrastructure Commission and will bring his unique expertise to the role at a crucial time, when the Commission is due to publish its first National Infrastructure Assessment. We look forward to working closely with the Commission under Sir John’s leadership, to not only identify the UK’s infrastructure priorities over the long term, but to ensure that our members and the wider supply chain are primed to deliver the world-class projects businesses and communities will rely upon in the coming years.”