Mace and Skanska bosses part of group looking at how project delivery could be quicker and cheaper

The bosses of Mace and Skanska as well as the former chief of Crossrail are among construction industry leaders appointed to advise the Labour Party on infrastructure policy.  

Darren Jones, the shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, announced the comprehensive review into major infrastructure yesterday during a visit to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield.  


Source: AMRC

Darren Jones (centre-right), shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, met Mayor of South Yorkshire Oliver Coppard (centre-left) and others at the AMRC yesterday

The review’s expert advisory panel includes Mark Reynolds, chief executive of Mace and co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council, and Katy Dowding, Skanska’s UK chief executive, as well as Mark Wild, who led project to build the Elizabeth Line before becoming chief executive at energy firm SGN.  

It will also feature Paula Reynolds, chair of the National Grid’s board, Kate Kenny, senior vice president at Jacobs, Paula Walsh, incoming chair for Arup UKIMEA, and Jurgen Maier, the former Siemens chief who is already leading a separate review into rail and transport infrastructure for the party.  

“Taking a long-term, strategic approach to infrastructure development improves innovation and productivity, and unlocks greater value across wellbeing, prosperity and economic growth,” said Kenny. 

The review will assess how the UK can reduce costs and speed up delivery of major infrastructure projects in the public and private sector, concluding in the spring.  

It will examine how estimates of costs, benefits and timescales can be improved, whether the civil service has the necessary access to skills for successful delivery and how greater transparency and regular reporting of project data could yield improvements. 

It is the latest effort by Labour to develop a plan to rebuild infrastructure if it wins the next general election.  

>> Key takeaways and talking points from the Labour Party conference 

Last November, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves launched the British Infrastructure Council, a body comprised of financial institutions which aims to unlock investment in UK infrastructure by partnering with the private sector.  

Launching the review, Jones said: “We need to get Britain building again so we can get Britain growing again. That means quicker and cheaper delivery of major projects and infrastructure, and it means unlocking the private sector investment our country needs.  

“The Conservatives have failed to secure the investment our country needs and have failed to keep control of the costs of delivering major projects across the UK.  

“If we are fortunate enough to form the next government and have responsibility for the public finances, we cannot tolerate this.

“By focusing on infrastructure delivery and ruthless cost control we can unlock investment and start rebuilding our economy after years of sluggish growth.  

“We need to put a stop to waste. Our review will establish the foundations for a long-term and strategic approach to major infrastructure in Britain.” 

Jones’ visit to the AMRC saw him meet senior officials at Rolls Royce’s Small Modular Reactor firm and speak about regional infrastructure with Oliver Coppard, mayor of South Yorkshire, and Henri Murison, chief of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.