Policy the result of party’s review into major project delivery

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A Labour government would merge existing infrastructure advisory bodies to achieve better value for money. 

The National Infrastructure Commission and Infrastructure and Projects Authority would be combined under the party’s plans to create the National Infrastructure and Service Transformation Authority (NISTA). 

Labour said it would give NISTA “new powers” and an updated mandate. The new body would be overseen by a board that includes external experts and be jointly accountable to the Treasury and the Cabinet Office. 

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Source: Parliament

Darren Jones, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury

The IPA was set up in 2016 by the merger of Infrastructure UK and the Major Projects Authority. It is the government’s centre of expertise for infrastructure and major projects delivery and reports to the Cabinet Office and the Treasury. 

The NIC, meanwhile, is an executive agency of the Treasury, established in 2017 to provide expert advice on infrastructure. One of its main tasks is to undertake national infrastructure assessments during each parliament. 

The announcement comes on the back of the Labour’s review into major capital projects, which was announced at last year’s party conference. 

The review has been supported by an expert independent advisory panel, including Paula Reynolds, chair of the board at National Grid, Juergen Maier, former chief of Siemens UK, and Mark Reynolds, chief executive of Mace.   

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Darren Jones had been meant to announce the policy in a speech to industry leaders at UKREIIF in Leeds yesterday, but his appearance was abruptly cancelled after Rishi Sunak called an election on Wednesday evening. 

>> Click here for more on Building’s election focus

In a statement, Jones said: “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reset how infrastructure is delivered, and public services are upgraded. We will call time on an era of Tory chaos, waste and decline.  

“Our new National Infrastructure and Service Transformation Authority will be laser-focused on delivery and play a critical role in setting the path we need to drive growth.  

“A Labour government will get Britain building again.”  

Kate Kenny, senior vice president at Jacobs, said: “The UK can be a world leader in delivering critical infrastructure that supports more sustainable, equitable societies.

>> Read more: Armitt warns infrastructure plans need speeding up as NIC review says more detail needed on proposals

>> Read more: UK has too many major projects for infrastructure authority to support, IPA chief tells Lords

>> Read more: UKREIIF round-up: Election news gives ‘shot in the arm’ to industry frustrated over housing slowdown

“What we need is for businesses, government and local leaders to pull together in the same direction, taking a long-term strategic approach – and understand that getting growth in the economy is always underpinned by good, reliable and new infrastructure.  

“Today’s announcement is a positive step forward in achieving these goals.”    

Katy Dowding, chief executive of Skanska, said: “Creating a new organisation, capable of marrying strategy and delivery is a positive step forward for business.  

“It is imperative that delivery is prioritised and that there is a clear focus on building new infrastructure.  

“Doing this will encourage confidence back into a market that has been volatile for too long”.  

Election focus 

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As thoughts turn towards the next general election, the UK is facing some serious problems.

Low growth, flatlining productivity, question marks over net zero funding and capability, skills shortages and a worsening housing crisis all amount to a daunting in-tray for the next government.

This year’s general election therefore has very high stakes for the built environment and the economy as a whole. For this reason,

Building is launching its most in-depth election coverage yet, helping the industry to understand the issues in play and helping to amplify construction’s voice so that the government hears it loud and clear.

We kicked off with the first piece in a three-parter looking at the state of play across three key topic areas, namely project delivery, housing and planning, net zero. Part two, looking at building safety, affordable housing and skills and education, is here.

Building is investigating the funding gaps facing the next government’s public sector building programmes, looking at the policy options available to the political parties. 

In the coming months our Building Talks podcast will focus on perhaps the hottest political topic: the housing crisis. The podcast will feature interviews with top industry names who side-step soundbites in favour of in-depth discussions.

As the main parties ramp up their policy announcements, we will keep you up to date with their latest pledges on our website through our “policy tracker”.