Chancellor George Osborne announced the National Infrastructure Commission senior team today, as he pledged £100bn in infrastructure spending by 2020.
As well as chair Lord Adonis, Conservative grandee Lord Heseltine will be on the top table, and Sir John Armitt who first had the idea for the independent commission.
He also confirmed the commission would have an initial focus across three key areas:
- Northern connectivity - identifying priorities for future investment to improve connectivity especially east-west across the Pennines
- London’s transport system – priorities for large scale transport improvements on road, rail and the Tube, including Crossrail 2
- Energy, particularly exploring how the UK can better balance supply and demand to help control pricing
Mr Osborne said: ‘I am determined to shake Britain out of its inertia on infrastructure and end the situation where we trail our rivals when it comes to building everything from the housing to the power stations that our children will need.
‘At the Spending Review, I will commit to investing £100bn in infrastructure over the next five years and we are creating an independent commission to give us a long-term, unbiased analysis of the country’s major infrastructure needs.
‘We need to think long-term and deliver a cross-party consensus on what we need to build.’
The commissioners are:
- Lord Heseltine – the former deputy prime minister who has long championed the regeneration of Britain’s inner cities through infrastructure investment
- Sir John Armitt – the former chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, and next year’s president of the Institute of Civil Engineers
- Professor Tim Besley – a former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee and the LSE’s Growth Commission, which recommended an independent infrastructure body
- Demis Hassabis – artificial intelligence researcher, neuroscientist and head of DeepMind Technologies · Sadie Morgan – a founding director of dRMM Architects and Design Panel Chair of HS2
- Bridget Rosewell – a senior adviser at Volterra and former chief economist and chief economic adviser to the Greater London Authority
- Sir Paul Ruddock – chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the University of Oxford Endowment