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James Heath speech to Infrastructure Forum Annual Policy Summit
Electricity pylon silhouette

James Heath speech to Infrastructure Forum Annual Policy Summit

James Heath, Chief Executive of the National Infrastructure Commission, addressed the Infrastructure Forum Annual Policy Summit yesterday (29 September 2020). His speech explored the importance of a long term strategy for infrastructure planning, the tests which the Commission will apply to the government’s forthcoming National Infrastructure Strategy, and the key policies the Commission recommends is...

30 Sep 2020 By
My first 100 days
Picture of James Heath

My first 100 days

100 days ago, I took up my post as Chief Executive of the NIC. Like others who have changed jobs during the crisis, I’ve been navigating the challenge of being away from a tangible office environment and getting to know my new team through calls and computer screens. While it’s been a rather unconventional start, I join at a time when the Commission’s work has never...

14 Aug 2020 By
Can data help make our crucial infrastructure even more resilient?
Picture of Elaine Voss

Can data help make our crucial infrastructure even more resilient?

Now more than ever we can see the importance of data to help us anticipate, react, and recover from infrequent but potentially devastating events. But this is not just true of pandemics: data can help us to manage direct shocks to infrastructure as well. During the current crisis, our infrastructure systems have generally stood up...

17 Jul 2020 By
Forecasting a changeable outlook
Wind turbines against a stormy sky

Forecasting a changeable outlook

You don’t have to be a trained weather forecaster to note that the weather in the UK is changing. The scientific consensus is that we will see an increase in the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events as a result of climate change. The UK government has legislated for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by...

12 Jun 2020 By
Metering will save us water sooner
Image of Francis Heil

Metering will save us water sooner

It’s not surprising that household water consumption has surged during the Covid19 lockdown. We’re washing our hands more than ever, and many of us are home all day using our bathrooms and kitchens. But even before lockdown, some of us were already using more water than we need – by taking long showers, watering our...

15 May 2020 By
How can infrastructure improve competitiveness?
Image of Beth Horsman

How can infrastructure improve competitiveness?

Looking beyond the urgent priorities raised by the present pandemic, Commission Economic Advisor Beth Horsman introduces a new discussion paper exploring the vexed subject of competitiveness and its implications for long term infrastructure planning. When you think of competitiveness, what sort of images spring to mind? Furiously fought sporting fixtures; athletes training for competitions; a...

20 Apr 2020 By
Infrastructure and the efficient delivery of new housing
Modern British housing

Infrastructure and the efficient delivery of new housing

This blog post relates to the new paper Infrastructure to support housing. We often hear that Britain is in the midst of a housing crisis. The government aims to tackle it by building one million homes in England over the next five years, with the annual build rate rising towards its 300,000 homes target. This...

13 Mar 2020 By
James Heath appointed National Infrastructure Commission’s Chief Executive
The NIC logo in white

James Heath appointed National Infrastructure Commission’s Chief Executive

James Heath, currently Director of Digital Infrastructure at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the National Infrastructure Commission. James led DCMS through the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review and Telecoms Supply Chain Review, and had overall responsibility for broadband, mobile and telecoms security policy, and the Government’s...

25 Feb 2020 By
A Day in the Life of our CEO
Phil Graham at a lectern giving a speech

A Day in the Life of our CEO

Our Chief Executive, Phil Graham, leaves the Commission in January 2020 after four years in the role. Phil led the establishment of the Commission and the landmark publication of the UK’s first National Infrastructure Assessment in 2018. Here, he sets out what his typical working day involves. 07.30 Three days a week my day begins...

20 Nov 2019 By
A renewable future for Britain is about more than meeting net zero
Picture of Jon Morris

A renewable future for Britain is about more than meeting net zero

Just a decade ago, the jury was out on renewables. We questioned whether wind and solar would ever be affordable and resilient enough for us to rely on them. But today, it’s a different story. This year has seen a promising milestone in Britain’s transition towards a greener economy. In September, the government awarded Contracts...

5 Nov 2019 By
Public transport choices and the future of mobility
Bus in Bristol picking up passengers

Public transport choices and the future of mobility

Much is uncertain about the opportunities and challenges that will be presented by mobility in the future – but the choices that are made by politicians now on how to support effective public transport are sure to be critical, no matter what is ahead. Technological change can come much faster or much slower than expected,...

23 Sep 2019 By
How do we make better decisions on future infrastructure delivery?
Picture of Anesu Bwawa

How do we make better decisions on future infrastructure delivery?

The National Infrastructure Assessment – the UK’s first – set out a clear long-term plan for the UK’s economic infrastructure needs up to 2050. All of its recommendations are affordable within a ceiling of public investment in infrastructure of 1.2% of GDP a year, with a similar amount funded by consumers and bill payers. It...

26 Jul 2019 By
Ensuring resilience in a highly renewable energy mix
A solar farm in a field

Ensuring resilience in a highly renewable energy mix

Back in July last year we launched the National Infrastructure Assessment, the first of its kind in this country and of its scope anywhere in the world. It identifies clear priorities for the UK’s economic infrastructure over the coming years and decades, based on a thirty-year forward look at the changing shape of our economy...

2 Jul 2019 By
Learning lessons from the first National Infrastructure Assessment
Phil Graham

Learning lessons from the first National Infrastructure Assessment

Publishing the first National Infrastructure Assessment was a major milestone for the National Infrastructure Commission. It was significant for us as the first of the assessments that we are required to publish every five years reviewing long term infrastructure needs. It was also the first assessment of its kind in the UK. This lack of precedent...

19 Mar 2019 By
How well connected are our cities?
A tram in Nottingham

How well connected are our cities?

Discussion about transport investment often focuses on spending over a handful of years, whether that be on a specific scheme or within a certain area. To some extent, these short-term comparisons are probably unavoidable. But it’s a poor way of assessing the overall state of transport when the networks on which people rely have been...


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