Design & Funding

More efficient use of public and private money combined with sound design principles will deliver better outcomes for society.

Updated:

Footbridge and sunset

The Commission’s own recommendations are made within a ‘fiscal remit’ set by government. This currently provides a long term funding guideline for public investment in economic infrastructure of 1.0 to 1.2 per cent of GDP.

However, the majority of infrastructure in the UK is paid for by industry – with the cost eventually passed on to users in some form. Research suggests up to two thirds of the total UK investment in infrastructure comes from the private sector. The Commission’s recommendations recognise that all major projects will come at a price that needs to be carefully assessed against the full range of realistic benefits.
We seek to understand what factors drive private investment in infrastructure and how the market is evolving, and use this insight to advise government.
Long term decisions and major projects inevitably carry risks, but decision making can be improved at every stage of infrastructure development through robust financial monitoring and recognising the value of good design.
The Commission works to encourage the adoption of sound design principles throughout project lifecycles that will help save money, reduce risk, add value, support environmental net gain and create a legacy that looks good and works well.

Latest Updates

Armitt speech on principles for urban infrastructure
Cities Programme
Portrait of Sir John Armitt

Armitt speech on principles for urban infrastructure

Sir John Armitt, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, delivered a speech today (7 October 2020) at the launch of the Commission’s report, Principles for effective urban infrastructure. The launch event was co-hosted with Centre for Cities. The text of Sir John’s speech can be found below.   Before I begin let me thank our...

7 Oct 2020 By
Cities Programme

Cities Programme

7 Oct 2020
Armitt: A clear infrastructure policy is more vital than ever
windmills against a blue sky

Armitt: A clear infrastructure policy is more vital than ever

In a comment piece published in the Sunday Telegraph on 4 October 2020, Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, reflects on the importance of a National Infrastructure Strategy for setting out the role of infrastructure in economic recovery, meeting the net zero target and ‘levelling up’. An edited version of the article...

4 Oct 2020 By
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
Infrastructure should “celebrate our nation’s ambition,” says Stirling Prize winner as she throws down new design challenge for the industry
Portrait of Sadie Morgan 2017

Infrastructure should “celebrate our nation’s ambition,” says Stirling Prize winner as she throws down new design challenge for the industry

Professor Sadie Morgan, Chair of the National Infrastructure Design Group, has today thrown down a challenge to everyone involved in major projects to embrace new principles to enhance the quality of the nation’s infrastructure. The UK’s first ever Design Principles for National Infrastructure, developed by the expert Design Group, seek to embed four key considerations...

5 Feb 2020 By
Design Principles literature review
Olympic Park pumping station

Design Principles literature review

5 Feb 2020
Design Principles for National Infrastructure
Blurred images of cyclists in Bristol

Design Principles for National Infrastructure

5 Feb 2020
Design Principles primary research
Hastings Pier

Design Principles primary research

5 Feb 2020
Capturing the value of urban transport investments
Bus in Bristol picking up passengers

Capturing the value of urban transport investments

29 Oct 2019
Evaluating the performance of private financing and traditional procurement
thumbnail of Evaluating the Performance of Private Financing and Traditional Procurement July 2019

Evaluating the performance of private financing and traditional procurement

26 Jul 2019
Robust evidence of value of infrastructure procurement models essential to effective future investment
Cars on a road

Robust evidence of value of infrastructure procurement models essential to effective future investment

The procurement of infrastructure projects risks being constrained by lack of evidence on long-term investment outcomes and could have strategic implications for the UK’s ability to meet growing demand for infrastructure services and its Net Zero emissions targets. The lack of a strong evidence base on infrastructure procurements has led to the focus on a...

26 Jul 2019 By
Methodology and findings of analytical framework project

Methodology and findings of analytical framework project

26 Jul 2019
Excellent design will be at the “beating heart” of all new UK infrastructure, vows Stirling Prize winner as she announces members of influential new Design Group

Excellent design will be at the “beating heart” of all new UK infrastructure, vows Stirling Prize winner as she announces members of influential new Design Group

Professor Sadie Morgan, a National Infrastructure Commissioner and Stirling Prize winner, today hails a “pivotal moment” for the future of UK infrastructure, as the ten members of a new Design Group are revealed. The Design Group will be champions for design excellence in all new national infrastructure. They will lobby to ensure that design is...

6 May 2019 By
Design Group: supportive statements

Design Group: supportive statements

Supportive statements in favour of the Commission’s new Design Group: “Louise’s appointment to the group is testament to her expertise and why we were so pleased she was able to come and work for the West Midlands Combined Authority. Our regional economy continues to grow at pace and billions of pounds of infrastructure including new...

6 May 2019 By
Property value uplift tool
Bird's eye view of Liverpool city centre

Property value uplift tool

17 Apr 2019
Annual Monitoring Report 2019 annex
Modern city at night with technology concept

Annual Monitoring Report 2019 annex

22 Feb 2019
Transport connectivity: discussion paper
thumbnail of Transport Connectivity discussion paper

Transport connectivity: discussion paper

20 Feb 2019
Champions of infrastructure design sought for pioneering new group

Champions of infrastructure design sought for pioneering new group

The National Infrastructure Commission is today launching the recruitment of members for its new Design Group, inviting champions of infrastructure design to play an important role in ensuring this issue is placed at the heart of major projects. Commissioner Professor Sadie Morgan, who will chair the Group, said those involved in this exciting initiative will...

20 Feb 2019 By
Alternative to the EIB needed to support infrastructure investment

Alternative to the EIB needed to support infrastructure investment

A new report today echoes findings by the National Infrastructure Commission, of the need for a new financial institution for infrastructure investment. The Lords EU Financial Affairs sub-committee warns that once Britain leaves the European Union, the country’s infrastructure industries will lose access to funding through the European Investment Bank – which in 2015 accounted...

31 Jan 2019 By
Design will define the legacy of our infrastructure
Portrait of Sadie Morgan 2017

Design will define the legacy of our infrastructure

Today, this year’s Stirling Prize winner will be revealed. The prestigious award, handed out annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects, recognises the UK’s best new building. Winning the Stirling Prize is like receiving the best picture Oscar, and last year dRMM – the practice I founded with Alex de Rijke and Phiip Marsh...


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