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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber Welcomes National Infrastructure Commission Proposal

Chris HobsonChancellor George Osborne will set up a new and independent national infrastructure commission, to be led by former Labour Party peer Lord Adonis.

Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at East Midlands Chamber, said: “The creation of an independent national body to oversee the delivery of major UK infrastructure projects and identify future requirements was a key ask in the Chamber’s pre-Election business manifesto, so it’s good to see this come to fruition.

“While overseeing the delivery of schemes which address the UK’s current and fundamental housing, infrastructure and energy needs should be its main focus, it should also be charged with expanding the horizon beyond the current timeframe to meet the longer-term strategic interests of the UK. For the East Midlands, this would include a long-term aviation strategy and improvements to road and rail connectivity North to South and East to West.

“The investment in HS3 announced today is also welcome, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of investment in HS2 or rail infrastructure in general, to ensure the East Midlands has a transport network which befits its reputation as a significant driver of the UK's economic growth.

“It’s also important that initiatives like Midlands Connect, the group championing strategic transport investment across the region, are not overshadowed when it comes to discussing the UK’s major infrastructure projects and priorities.

“The Northern Powerhouse will thrive only if the Midlands Engine for Growth is firing on all cylinders, so it’s important future infrastructure development is balanced, holistic and takes into account the important role that this region plays in driving economic growth and job creation in the UK.”