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Is the UK a 'destination' for infrastructure investment?


How much will the resignation of Lord Adonis, Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission affect this year’s march on new infrastructure? Should the discussion about who pays – private or public investors - be discussed more openly?

The Telegraph last year reported that although the UK ‘remains as one of the top countries for investors… it is falling in the ranking as Brexit and political stability weighs (heavy)’. It quoted law firm CMS as saying that the UK could look to top placed Netherlands as an example of ‘’transparent and efficient procurement process and a healthy multi-billion euro pipeline in road and water Public-Private- Partnerships’’.

While in the USA, The Brookings Institution – a non-profit public policy organisation based in Washington – in its research report ‘If you build it: A guide to the economics of infrastructure investment’ argues that ‘because much of the nation’s infrastructure generates broadly shared benefits that are not limited to those who can pay, decisions about this infrastructure are an important public policy concern and not just a matter for private firms and investors’.

In the UK, the work on the construction of the £42 billion HS2 rail route from London to Birmingham and the North is due to gather momentum next year and £540 million extra was announced in the 2017 Budget to boost NI’s infrastructure.

Recently, an all-women team ‘VeloCity’ won the ideas competition set out by the National Infrastructure Commission to revitalise six villages and a network of cycling in the Cambridge-Milton Keynes –Oxford Corridor.

The team including Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design, Featherstone Young, Khaa, Marko and Placemakers, Mikhail Riches and Expedition Engineering, looks at the development of the region over the course of 30 years.

It was reported by Dezeen that they aim to ‘turn traditional planning policy on its head’ and encourage the NIC to recognise the importance of place-making.

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