Place

Infrastructure can improve the economic prospects of local areas and help to enhance the distinct identities of the places where we live, work, and enjoy life.

Updated:

Aerial view of Aberdeen as River Dee flows to the North Sea

The Commission adopts a place based approach to its thinking, reflecting the results of social research which showed 8 in 10 people believe good infrastructure is necessary to support a good quality of life.

Infrastructure helps form the identity of places as well as creating efficient links between them. Better infrastructure can alleviate bottlenecks to growth in congested areas, while infrastructure improvements have the potential, alongside other policies such as skills training, to increase growth in lower productivity areas and help efforts to level up the economy.

This area of our activity has close connections to our transport and digital themes. Our work on place includes exploring projects with specific geographic impacts, such as our study into the Cambridge–Milton Keynes–Oxford Growth Arc, as well as developing policy recommendations that seek to improve infrastructure, such as urban transport and broadband, across many places.

While the Commission’s remit does not include housing provision, we have advised government on how utility services can better support proposed housing developments and help enable the scale of house building needed to accommodate a growing population.

Data on place

A range of data sets relating to the theme of place is available to review on our Data pages. This includes data sets used in Commission reports, as well as historic data sets. Each can be reviewed online or downloaded. 

Review data

Latest Updates

Bridget Rosewell speech to Westminster Social Policy Forum: Next steps for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc
Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Growth Arc
Portrait of Bridget Rosewell

Bridget Rosewell speech to Westminster Social Policy Forum: Next steps for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc

The following is an edited transcript of remarks given by Bridget Rosewell, National Infrastructure Commissioner, at a virtual conference held on 26 March 2021 to discuss progress on the Oxford-Cambridge Growth Arc. “As we gather again to discuss progress on the Oxford-Cambridge arc, it is perhaps helpful to remember the exam question the Commission was...

29 Mar 2021 By
Infrastructure, Towns and Regeneration
Night time cityscape of houses in Walsall, UK

Infrastructure, Towns and Regeneration

The Commission is undertaking a study on how infrastructure can support economic prosperity and good quality of life in towns across the country.

3 Mar 2021
New study on infrastructure in towns
Infrastructure, Towns and Regeneration
View of streets and houses British residential area from the air.

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...

3 Mar 2021 By
Commission welcomes next steps on Oxford-Cambridge Arc
Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford Growth Arc

Commission welcomes next steps on Oxford-Cambridge Arc

The National Infrastructure Commission has welcomed government’s announcement of next steps in developing a spatial framework for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. The Commission explored the potential of the Arc and made recommendations for how to maximise the economic opportunities for local communities and businesses in a major study published in 2017. This week, government set out...

19 Feb 2021 By
Plans of action needed next to deliver strategic goals, says Commission
Annual Monitoring Report 2021
Montage of images representing infrastructure, including a woman charging an electric vehicle and a man wearing a mask using public transport

Plans of action needed next to deliver strategic goals, says Commission

Detailed plans for decarbonising energy supply, accelerating the roll out of electric vehicle charge points and connecting hard to reach areas with high capacity broadband are among the next steps needed to ensure government can deliver its aims for levelling up and meeting the net zero target, according to the National Infrastructure Commission. The Commission’s...

17 Feb 2021 By
Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North
Manchester Piccadilly station

Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North

15 Dec 2020
Better defining ‘levelling up’ is a crucial step to achieving it
Growth across regions
Portrait of Professor Sir Tim Besley CBE

Better defining ‘levelling up’ is a crucial step to achieving it

Some form of regional inequality has been a persistent feature of the UK.  Not only are there profound differences between regions (i.e. North and South), there are also inequalities within regions. Pockets of low productivity and heightened levels of deprivation exist in both successful and unsuccessful places.  But these are not set in stone; changing...

Growth across regions
View of streets and houses British residential area from the air.

Growth across regions

5 Nov 2020
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 share good practice for developing local infrastructure strategies

Cities share good practice for developing local infrastructure strategies

A new toolkit curated by the National Infrastructure Commission is offering advice to cities on developing local infrastructure strategies to underpin improvements in transport, housing and employment prospects. The guidance seeks to maximise the impact of further devolution of powers and funding to city regions recommended by the Commission, by sharing experience and knowledge between...

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
Bridget Rosewell speech to the Westminster Business Forum
Portrait of Bridget Rosewell

Bridget Rosewell speech to the Westminster Business Forum

“I’m very pleased to be here, and indeed, to have had the opportunity to have listened to some, if not all, of the presentations today. This is my chance to assess progress against the Commission’s report, which we published nearly three years ago in November 2017, on what we call the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Arc. That...

22 Sep 2020 By

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