Design & Funding

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

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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

Professor Sadie Morgan response to National Infrastructure Strategy commitments on design
Portrait of Sadie Morgan 2017

Professor Sadie Morgan response to National Infrastructure Strategy commitments on design

Today’s National Infrastructure Strategy includes government commitments to increase emphasis on the quality of design in infrastructure projects. Some of the ways government intends to do this is set out in a detailed annex (1.183 – 1.187, p41 of this document) which responds to the National Infrastructure Commission’s recommendations on infrastructure design and the Design...

25 Nov 2020 By
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

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