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Thu January 21 2021

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Chief secretary to co-chair new infrastructure forum

24 Sep 12 Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander has announced the creation of the new National Infrastructure Plan Strategic Engagement Forum (NIPSEF).

Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander
Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander

NIPSEF will bring government and industry together with the aim of helping to deliver the UK’s infrastructure needs.

NIPSEF will be formally launched this autumn and will be co-chaired Mr Alexander on behalf of government and from the industry side, Nelson Ogunshakin, chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE).

Mr Alexander made the announcement at a fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrat party conference in Brighton yesterday.

The Infrastructure Alliance brings together four leading trade bodies – the ACE, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, the Construction Products Association and the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). It works in partnership with CITBConstructionSkills, the sector skills council for the industry.

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The forum intends to bring together representatives from contractors, engineers and others in the supply chain, along with asset owners, managers and regulators, as well as the business end-users of infrastructure.

Dr Nelson 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.”

ICE director general Nick Baveystock, who is earmarked to take over as co-chair of the forum at some point, 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 SEF 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.”

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