Belfast Telegraph

Planned infrastructure investment 'set to top £500bn for the first time'

Planned investment in Britain's infrastructure is set to top £500 billion for the first time, the Government has said.

Ministers are publishing a new National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline, setting out planned public and private investment over the rest of the current parliament and beyond.

The Treasury said that £300 billion of the £500 billion of expenditure identified in the document will take place by 2020-21, with projects including investment in transport links, broadband, flood defences and housing.

It follows Chancellor Philip Hammond's announcement of an additional £23 billion of infrastructure spending in last month's Autumn Statement, as the Government seeks to raise the productivity of the UK economy.

Ministers said that publishing the pipeline document would provide a single source of data for both Government and the private sector, offering greater certainty for investors and suppliers.

Treasury Chief Secretary David Gauke said: "This record infrastructure pipeline is set to make a real difference to people's lives,from quicker and easier journeys to better broadband access, and building more homes for people who need them in high-demand areas.

"It is clear proof that we are absolutely committed to ensure our infrastructure is fit for the future, which is at the heart of our ambitious plans to close the UK's productivity gap and build a fair economy for everyone."

Chris Richards, policy adviser at manufacturers' organisation EEF, said: "The National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline shows a Britain moving forward, delivering the investment needed to turbo-charge productivity and making the economy fighting fit for the years ahead.

"Coupled with the National Infrastructure Commission, the Chancellor's recently set fiscal remit to spend 1%-1.2% of GDP on national infrastructure between 2020 and 2050 and the go-ahead for Heathrow, today's announcement cements a picture of progress in fixing the UK's ailing infrastructure and should be welcomed loudly."