UK targets infra in industrial strategy

The UK government is looking to infrastructure as one of its key pillars to boost productivity, as it sets out its industrial strategy.

Publishing a new white paper on its industrial strategy, the government includes infrastructure as one of its five ‘foundations of productivity’ and sets out a vision for upgrading the country’s infrastructure over the coming years.

As part of this ambition, the government is to increase the National Productivity Investment Fund to £31bn, with an aim to support investment in transport, housing and digital infrastructure.

There is also a commitment to roll out more ‘sector deals’, in which partnerships are agreed between central government and industry to increase productivity. The government sees these initiatives as opportunities to develop strategic, long-term partnerships that are backed by private sector co-investment.

“A key part of securing long-term economic growth and increased productivity will be to invest in our infrastructure network – so I welcome that today’s industrial strategy has this at its heart,” said National Infrastructure Commission chair, Lord Adonis.

Meanwhile, a group of cross-party MPs from the north of England have established an all-party parliamentary group (APPG) focused on the Northern Powerhouse. Established with support from George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse Partnership, the APPG aims to keep up pressure on the government to deliver new investment in the region.