Towns across the country depend on infrastructure to support economic prosperity and good quality of life. Many towns offer the opportunity for growth and regeneration but may require infrastructure improvement to maximise their potential, while people living in towns everywhere need to have access to a decent level of infrastructure provision for social, leisure and work activities. Delivering the right infrastructure for towns can potentially help address economic and social imbalance between regions.
The government has asked the Commission to make recommendations on how to maximise the benefits of infrastructure policy and investment for towns in England. The study will focus on transport and digital infrastructure in particular. The Commission will ensure that any recommendations in reserved areas are applicable across the UK. Terms of reference for the study (see tab on left hand side) were published by the government on 3 March 2021.
This study will focus attention on places outside city centres, specifically towns and suburban centres, considering the potential for both economic and quality of life benefits from infrastructure intervention in towns with different characteristics. The study will also consider the potential implications of Covid-19 on infrastructure for towns, and will explore local governance and capability for delivering infrastructure.
Throughout the study the Commission will engage with local leaders and other key stakeholders associated with towns across England to understand local priorities for the potential benefits of infrastructure. The Commission will also engage with relevant experts to ensure recommendations take account of the best available evidence.
The Commission will make its recommendations to government by September 2021.
New study on infrastructure in towns
In its 2021 Budget, the government asked the Commission to undertake a new study looking specifically at the role of infrastructure in helping towns and urban areas outside major cities. The new study will have a particular focus on the role of transport and digital infrastructure in boosting economic regeneration and levelling up. More details...