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Civils contractors welcome infrastructure plan

4 Dec 13 Civil engineering contractors have welcomed the extra investment implied by the latest version of the National Infrastructure Plan but warned that momentum must be maintained in all areas of infrastructure policy.

Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner said: “It is clear that much of the infrastructure necessary to ensure energy security and renew our transport networks will need to be delivered by the private sector.

“As such it is vital that those who will be responsible for these projects are able to have access to suitable funding. For this reason, CECA very much welcomes the announcement of support today for £25bn in the UK’s infrastructure from some of the country’s leading insurers.

“But we equally recognise that funding is only part of the picture, and this support will only come forward if there is a demonstration that projects are investable. For this reason, it is vital that the government maintains momentum to address all other barriers that currently stand in the way of project delivery.”

Commenting on the commitment to sign an agreement with Hitachi and Horizon to support the financing and development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa in North Wales through a UK guarantee, Mr Reisner said: “We have seen the boost to the industry that has arisen as a result of government support for the delivery of Hinkley Point C.

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“The offer of a UK guarantee to the project will help this project get off the ground. However, we want to see a fleet of new reactors built, rather than a single project in isolation. Therefore today’s support for a Hitachi and Horizon new nuclear power station in North Wales is a welcome step to cementing a renaissance in civil nuclear power in the UK.”

On the announcement of the creation of a new court for infrastructure to avoid unnecessary delays in the planning process for major projects, Mr Reisner said: “Too often schemes that could have been creating growth and employment throughout the UK have been bound up in delays due to legal issues. While safeguarding the ability to challenge projects, we hope that the new court will streamline the process, ensuring that good projects can rapidly move from development to delivery.”

The full national infrastructure plan can be seen on the government's website at www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-infrastructure-plan-2013.

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