The multi-billion pound commitment for the next 5 years follows Osborne’s announcement in early October that the government will move forward with the plans originally put forward by the Labour party, with Labour’s former transport secretary Lord Adonis at the helm.
For the coming years the primary focus is expected to be transport; specifically the interconnectivity of the northern regions of England, and improved roads and rail for London including Crossrail 2.
But energy infrastrure has also been earmarked as a focus, with the NIC to focus on “exploring how the UK can better balance supply and demand, aiming for an energy market where prices are reflective of costs to the overall system.”
The commission will produce a report at the start of each five-year Parliament, offering recommendations for priority infrastructure projects.
The government also announced the NIC commissioners, as follows:
Lord Heseltine – the former deputy prime minister who has long championed the regeneration of Britain’s inner cities through infrastructure investment
Sir John Armitt – the former chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, and next year’s president of the Institute of Civil Engineers
Professor Tim Besley – a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and the LSE’s Growth Commission, which recommended an independent infrastructure body
Demis Hassabis – artificial intelligence researcher, neuroscientist and head of DeepMind Technologies
Sadie Morgan – a founding director of dRMM Architects and Design Panel chair of HS2
Bridget Rosewell – a senior adviser at Volterra and former chief economist and chief economic adviser to the Greater London Authority
Sir Paul Ruddock – chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the University of Oxford Endowment