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New report – Transforming Infrastructure: Building Britain’s Future

BiP Solutions is pleased to announce the launch of its new market report - Transforming Infrastructure: building Britain’s future,

BiP Solutions is pleased to announce the launch of its new market report – Transforming Infrastructure: Building Britain’s Future, a must-read report for those working or looking to work in the infrastructure marketplace.

The infrastructure sector provides a wealth of opportunities for businesses in the know, with key supply chains currently being built up for the megaprojects scheduled to be built in Britain over the next decade. This report shows where those opportunities will become available so you can plan how to build your business strategy.

This new market report from BiP highlights the latest trends and opportunities within the sector, and follows the hugely successful UK Infrastructure Show (UKIS) hosted by BiP at the NEC in April. The show, held in conjunction with Procurex – the UK’s premier public procurement event – saw 1400 delegates enjoying over 30 free training sessions, five leading industry figures speaking in the Keynote Arena, plus network and collaboration zones and a wealth of exhibition stands.

Talking points from the show, together with results from the survey conducted by our media partner, Construction Online, into the infrastructure marketplace, have inspired deeper research into the market, to help identify opportunities for buyers and suppliers within the sector. This has resulted in our new market report, which identifies these trends.

Infrastructure has been one of the better performers for the construction industry throughout this unsettled political and economic period with the National Infrastructure Pipeline inspiring confidence in the sector that is perhaps lacking elsewhere.

The National Infrastructure Pipeline evidenced a buoyant infrastructure sector over the next decade, confirming over 700 projects which will see over £600bn worth of investment in the UK. The National Infrastructure Commission produced its own analysis of the figures and statements and responded with an assessment of how the pipeline will be delivered.

This new report considers both the pipeline and assessment and how such huge transformation can be achieved in the timescales required. As well as a copy of the key findings from Construction Online’s Infrastructure Survey, the report includes an in-depth review of UKIS 2019 and the discussions that took place.

Download the full report now to find out how BiP Solutions can help you to access the huge opportunities within this £600bn sector.

Building connections at the UK Infrastructure Show

Bigger and better than ever before, on 30th April the UK Infrastructure Show was back at the NEC, Birmingham for its third year.

The UK’s leading infrastructure and supply chain event was once again a roaring success, connecting buyers and suppliers on the main stage of the sector.

This year, the event combined with the UK Public Sector Expo and Procurex National, with UKIS2019 seeing 1,400 delegates enjoying over 30 free training sessions, five speakers in the Keynote Arena, six Public Sector Solutions Live speakers, four Networking & Collaboration Zones, a Product Showcase Exhibition and the wealth of knowledge demonstrated in the four skills development zones throughout the event.

With over £600bn and 700 projects on the National Infrastructure Pipeline, the show had a huge range of information and opportunities on offer from some of the biggest names and projects within the infrastructure arena.

Infrastructure has been one of the better performers for the construction industry throughout this unsettled political and economic period, as reflected in the attendance numbers and buoyancy amongst the infrastructure community.

The Keynote stage

The Keynote stage, hosting some of the major players in the infrastructure sector, was the focus of the event. A very popular area of the show, at times it was standing room only as people jostled to hear the latest from the National Infrastructure Commission, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, HS2, the Department for Transport and Scape Procure.

Chaired by Stephen Kinnell of supply chain specialists CompeteFor, key themes coming through the informative keynote speeches were the need for collaboration, innovation and a long-term joined-up approach.

First up, Phil Graham, Chief Executive of the National Infrastructure Commission, addressed the audience. He discussed how important infrastructure is to the country, as a key driver of the economy and improver of change.

Phil Graham from National Infrastructure Commission

Matthew Vickerstaff, Interim Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, followed, discussing how delivery of the National Infrastructure Pipeline will be achieved, looking at strategic investment, infrastructure priorities, and the challenges in improving infrastructure performance.

An informative session from Mark Howard, HS2 Chief Engineer, was up next. As Europe’s biggest infrastructure project currently underway, HS2 is a flagship for the infrastructure sector. Mr Howard told the packed room, that up to this point, the amount of track already built equals half the length of the UK – giving us some idea of the huge undertaking this project is.

Once again, the theme of collaboration and a joined up approach was key, with the support of organisations such as the Midlands Engine and Northern Powerhouse crucial to successful delivery.

The next session was held by Catherine de Marco, Deputy Director Infrastructure, Skills and Efficiency at Department for Transport. Ms de Marco focused on the issues of skilled labour and the requirement for new, technology-minded individuals to be enticed into the construction, transport and infrastructure sectors.

Last to the podium was Adrian Hill, Acting Director of Frameworks at Scape Procure. An appropriate close to the arena, the essence of Scape Procure and Mr Hill’s address was to remind the audience that with all infrastructure projects, we are not just investing in the projects, but communities.

Attendees heard again, how collaboration, fair payment, continual improvement and adoption of new technologies and innovations was vital for the sector to ensure economic benefits from the investments.

Subsector zones

The excitement didn’t end with the keynote arena – the floor was host to many exhibitors, showcasing new trends, technologies and innovations to a captive audience.

Two zones, specifically designed to highlight the growing subsectors within infrastructure, were also available to delegates.

In Zone 1, The Energy and Social Infrastructure zone, attendees heard from a range of specialists and suppliers working in the sector.

Over in Zone 2, Transport, sessions from some of the leading figures in infrastructure development in the West Midlands spoke to a lively audience.

Next steps

We would like to thank all delegates, visitors, partners, sponsors and exhibitors at UKIS for helping to make such a successful show and representing an industry with huge potential for growth and development.

To register your interest or to discuss booking your 2020 exhibition or sponsorship package, click here.

 

Spring Statement 2019

Red briefcase

The Chancellor has today delivered his Spring Statement. Against the background of continued uncertainty around the UK’s departure from the EU, what will probably be seen as the main message of the Statement is that the Chancellor’s so-called ‘war chest’ of around £26.6bn is earmarked for preparations for a ‘no-deal Brexit.’

If the possibility of a ‘no deal’ exit is removed with the EU’s agreement, it will free up a significant amount of money to be spent in areas such as healthcare and education. However, as our last update noted, ‘no deal’ remains very much a possibility, in spite of this week’s parliamentary vote.

If a Brexit deal is agreed, the Chancellor has committed to a full, three-year spending review before Parliament’s summer recess, ahead of the next budget.

We look at a few other key announcements from the Statement below.

Housing & construction

The Government has made up to £3bn available to housing associations in England, through the Affordable Homes Guarantee Scheme, to support delivery of around 30,000 affordable homes.

In addition, £717m is earmarked for constructing 37,000 homes in London, the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and Cheshire.

The Chancellor also said that a National Infrastructure Strategy will be published along with the Autumn Budget.

For more on the implications of the Statement for the construction industry, see the latest Construction Online update.

Local areas

Alongside the above-mentioned areas for housing development, the Statement announces up to £260m for the Borderlands region, which comprises which comprises Dumfries and Galloway, the Scottish Borders, Northumberland, Cumbria and Carlisle City. There will also be £60m of investment in ten cities and local areas across England, from the ‘Transforming Cities Fund.’

Technology & innovation

While the major news in terms of technology may be around the Government’s planned reviews of digital advertising and the dominance of ‘tech giants’, there were announcements in other areas too, with over £200m earmarked for science and innovation projects. Major funding has been granted for state-of-the-art laser technology projects in Oxfordshire, genomics research and industry in Cambridge, and £79m for a supercomputer to be developed in Edinburgh.

Skills & jobs

The last Budget included updates to apprenticeship reforms. These mean that, from 1st April, employers will see the co-investment rate they pay reduced from 10% to 5%, while levy-paying employers are “able to share more levy funds across their supply chains”, with the maximum amount rising from 10% to 25%.

The Chancellor also reiterated that the previously-announced £37bn National Productivity Investment Fund, covering areas such as roads, the rail network and full-fibre networks, will help boost productivity.

Sustainability & environment

Sustainability and efficiency are one of the major areas of focus in the Statement, with the Chancellor pledging to increase the amount of ‘green gas’ in the National Grid. Additionally, from 2025, all new homes will be ‘future-proofed’ with low carbon heating, as opposed to fossil fuel-based heating systems.

The Statement also announced a ‘call for evidence’ specifically focusing on the benefits of energy efficiency and carbon reduction for SMEs. The results of this will lead to SME-specific investment commitments.

£4bn boost for Scottish infrastructure

Scottishinfra

The Scottish Government’s 2016-17 Draft Budget has pledged around £4 billion infrastructure investment over the next year. This investment will be spent on house building, transport and digital links, among other projects. Here, BiP journalist Julie Shennan talks with DTL Chief Executive of UK Training Chris Wood about the opportunities and challenges this could bring.

The 2016-17 Draft Budget has pledged:

  • £1 billion investment in roads and transport projects, including the electrification of the Edinburgh-Glasgow rail line and continuing work on the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route.
  • Around £690 million investment in housing supply including an increase of around £90 million in affordable housing supply year on year – the first step in the Scottish Government’s commitment to provide 50,000 new affordable homes by 2020-21
  • Further investment in total of more than £130 million for Scotland’s digital strategy, to give 95 per cent of premises in Scotland access to next generation broadband by 2017 and enhance mobile coverage.
  • Completion of the Queensferry Crossing.

These infrastructure plans remain to be confirmed in the Scottish Government Spending Review, later in the year. This publication has been delayed by the late release of the UK Spending Review, which was published on 27 Nov 2015.

Scottish Ministers continue to discuss the fiscal framework that will underpin future Scottish Block Grants from the UK as part of the Scotland Bill. Any agreement will have a material impact on the powers and resources available to Scotland.

Scottish Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown said: “This is a Budget to improve infrastructure and increase house building by a total of some £4 billion, and as such it as a Budget to invest in protect and extend our economic recovery.

“We have long placed considerable emphasis on public sector investment in infrastructure to stimulate economic recovery and that is what has driven much of the post-recession growth in Scotland. This Budget supports that continued growth through improving infrastructure and investing in housing to ensure all Scots can benefit from these opportunities.”

The Scottish Draft Budget infrastructure pledge comes as good news to Scottish-based training specialist DTL, whose customers include major construction, energy and water companies.

DTL Chief Executive, Chris Wood said: “Such pledges of investment are always welcome.

“For Scotland, in particular, these are essential to help the country thrive in an ever more competitive global environment.”

But Mr Wood said the pledge would need to be backed with investment in industrial training.

He said: “Not only should pledges be turned into actions, but greater consideration should also be made as to how infrastructure improvements will actually be delivered.

“There remains a significant skills gap across Scotland and the wider UK. So it would be even more reassuring to see the Scottish Government make similar pledges to help businesses provide appropriate training, apprenticeships and the skills necessary to deliver these ambitious projects on time and to a high standard.”

For more public sector spend news, continue to follow the BiP Solutions blog…