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Press release

25 SEP 2017

Global standards vital to boosting infrastructure investment

The adoption of regulated internationally recognised standards can increase the UK’s ability to attract private infrastructure investment to offset the fall in public sector spending, according to our new paper which was launched at the Labour Party Conference today.

Key highlights

  • Public investment in infrastructure is expected to fall.
  • International standards will provide certainty and assurance amid ongoing Brexit talks.
  • Government must be proactive in attracting investors to deliver infrastructure.

International standards

The adoption of regulated internationally recognised standards can increase the UK’s ability to attract private infrastructure investment to offset the fall in public sector spending, according to our new paper published today.

Launched at the Labour Party conference in Brighton at an event attended by Shadow Housing Minister Tony Lloyd, the paper titled Attracting Infrastructure Investment Through International Standards sets out the case for using International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) to attract private investment in infrastructure projects.

Successfully enticing investors will play a vital role in Britain to mitigate recent contractions in the construction sector as Brexit discussions continue.

With the UK’s ageing infrastructure currently depleting and at capacity, and public sector investment set to fall from to 1.4% of GDP by 2020 – from 3.2% in 2010 – the private sector has a critical role to play in updating and delivering new infrastructure.

ICMS is a key tool in managing investments, providing certainty to industry and attracting investment.

Revenue generating projects

This paper also calls on government to take a more proactive role in supporting infrastructure by identifying projects that will generate revenue, providing guarantees to minimise investor risk during the construction phase and providing certainty by seeking cross-party support for projects.

The panel discussion

Justin Sullivan, Chair, RICS QS Board, outlined the key highlights from the report and provided an overview of all the international standards. A lively interactive discussion followed with panelists endorsing the standard and the positive impact it can have on infrastructure schemes. Ian Tasker (Director, Grant Thronton Infrastructure Advisory) highlighted the importance of infrastructure in unlocking the delivery of housing, whilst Andrew Jones, Lead on Planning, Design and Economics, AECOM, welcomed the report’s focus on the active management of project costs. 

Tony Lloyd MP, Shadow Housing Minister and John Mann MP, Treasury Select Committee (TSC), commented on the benefits the ICMS can bring in the management of public money. 

John Mann MP queried the ICMS’s applicability to strategic nationally significant projects including Hinkley Point C and HS2 to inform TSC enquiries. In line with recent meetings held with HM Treasury ministers, a real interest was displayed on life-cycle costing of infrastructure assets. Mo Rahee, RICS Policy Manager, Infrastructure and report author explained this will be covered by future editions of the ICMS.