The government expects up to £775bn to be spent on infrastructure and construction across the public and private sectors in the next decade.
The long-awaited National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline from Whitehall’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) outlines 660 projects over the next 10 years.
The document was released this week, having been anticipated throughout 2023 and following industry disappointment that it was not published with the Spring Budget last March or with the Autumn Statement in November.
The £775bn total includes £164bn of planned investment in the current and next financial year, £215bn from 2025/26 to 2032/33, and “other projected investment”.
Transport is set to receive £233.88bn over the period, the IPA says.
The pipeline is the first to be published since prime minister Rishi Sunak cancelled the northern leg of HS2 and declared that its link from Old Oak Common to Euston would be built without public funding.
Network North, the £36bn package of local transport upgrades announced to redirect the HS2 money, features in the pipeline’s total, with specific noted commitments to expand Northern Powerhouse Rail; allocate £8.3bn to road resurfacing in England; deliver a mass-transit system in West Yorkshire; and provide £8.55bn of funds through the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement.
The energy sector is predicted to receive the largest amount with £315.83bn. Schemes including Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C, as well as nuclear decommissioning work, all feature in the pipeline.
An analysis released alongside the pipeline notes: “Given the importance of energy transition to the future of the UK, IPA expects that this will continue to be an area of investment, although there is uncertainty on the delivery profile for a number of individual projects.”
IPA chief executive Nick Smallwood said: “It is critical that we set out to industry our projections of the investment and workforce required to deliver against our commitments.
“There has never been a more important time to work in project delivery and to bring new capabilities and resources into the sector – whether that be apprentices, technicians, graduates or other skilled workers.”
In a joint foreword to the report, Cabinet Office minister Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe and exchequer secretary Gareth Davies said: “By setting out our planned and projected spend to the market, we aim to build confidence in the construction industry at a time when we know it will be really valued under today’s challenging economic circumstances.
“Being transparent about what and where we are investing money means that we can deliver more widely and effectively. It means that we can put people at the very heart of projects – whether that is the taxpayer, a local business, a big city or a small town.”
The analysis also highlights the government’s commitment to modern methods of construction (MMC) and its £64bn of planned spend on MMC in this and the next financial year.
Last month the House of Lords Built Environment Committee criticised the government for failing to have a clear strategy for its investment in MMC.
Smallwood said he was “pleased to see” the £64bn investment in MMC and called for “further and faster” modernisation of building methods, including “putting digitalisation at the forefront of planning”.