NIC fact find kicks off in Manchester
The National Infrastructure Commission is currently on tour around the UK, conducting a fact-finding mission to ensure the UK has the infrastructure in place to meet future needs.
First stop is Manchester, where the NIC will assess if Greater Manchester has the infrastructure in place to meet the needs of the year 2050.
The Commission’s visit is the first in a series of engagements with city regions across the country, to gather evidence in the run-up to the next National Infrastructure Assessment – a major five-yearly report with costed recommendations to government on long term infrastructure priorities.
Maximising the opportunities provided by HS2, the importance of further investment in public transport across the region and steps to help homes and businesses use less carbon were discussed during a series of meetings between the NIC and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, alongside officials from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
The Commissioners toured the Civic Quarter Heat Network and saw examples of other steps by Manchester City Council to reduce energy use in civic buildings, before visiting the new Mayfield Park to see at first-hand how floodable meadows will help the city’s flood resilience.
The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: “The Commission has been a strong advocate for giving more powers and funding to local leaders to drive forward growth and regeneration plans that are right for their own places.
“We were pleased to welcome Sir John and his fellow Commissioners to Greater Manchester, to show them what we’re already doing with our unique devolved powers to create a greener, fairer more prosperous city-region, and make the case for the things we need to see from central government to accelerate that progress.”
The Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, Sir John Armitt, said: “Greater Manchester is known globally for its pioneering, creative spirit, and its residents have always used infrastructure to both reflect and support that ingenuity. As we face an array of challenges and opportunities in the second half of this century, our visit has given us invaluable insights to inform our future recommendations on government policy.”
The next National Infrastructure Assessment will be published in the second half of 2023. The Commission has already announced that it will focus on three strategic themes: achieving the legally binding net zero emissions target, protecting the environment and enhancing climate resilience, and levelling up economic prosperity and quality of life the UK. Ministers are required to respond formally to the Commission’s recommendations within a year.
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