Government also makes four new appointments to National Infrastructure Commission

Lord Adonis has been confirmed as chair of strategic infrastructure planning body the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), in a move warmly welcomed by industry.

Adonis - who had led the NIC as interim chair from its launch in October 2015 - was confirmed alongside deputy chair Sir John Armitt, president of the Institution of Civil Engineers and former boss of the Olympic Delivery Authority.

The government also announced the hiring of four new commissioners - economist Dame Kate Barker, engineering professor David Fisk and two appointments from the financial world, Andy Green and Julia Prescot, who hold leadership roles at online trading firm IG Group and investor Meridiam respectively.

The NIC’s existing commissioners - Sadie Morgan, Tim Besley, Demis Hassabis and Bridget Rosewell - were all also confirmed and will serve until October 2020.

The NIC - which is charged with impartially setting the UK’s long term infrastructure objectives - was officially launched as an executive agency of the Treasury in January this year.

Its independence is set out in charter with its own budget, freedom and autonomy. However many in the industry were disappointed the government didn’t put the NIC’s independence on a statutory footing, as had been originally envisaged by the then chancellor George Osborne.

The NIC has made recommendations on several areas of infrastructure policy, including transport in the north of England, and is working on proposals to boost housing and jobs in the Cambridge to Oxford corridor and on the national roll-out of 5G coverage.

Adonis said: “Our infrastructure networks are central to the UK’s economy and society, but too often their planning has been piecemeal and short-term.

“The NIC provides the opportunity to transform this and deliver the infrastructure that the UK needs to ensure its prosperity over the coming decades.”

Welcoming the appointments, Marie-Claude Hemming, director of external affairs at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, said: “”Both Lord Adonis and Sir John will bring a wealth of experience to the important work the NIC will undertake in advising on the UK’s infrastructure needs in the coming years.”