Chancellor unveils extra £2.3bn for housing infrastructure

Grant Prior 6 years ago
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Chancellor Phillip Hammond put extra infrastructure investment at the heart of his Autumn Statement announcement.

Among the new spending pledges was £2.3bn for civil engineering infrastructure work like local roads to pave the way for 100,000 new homes.

A further £1.4bn will be provided to deliver 40,000 new affordable homes.

Treasury documents show the Housing Infrastructure Fund will total £60m in 2017/18 rising each year to £300m and £945m before hitting £1,425m in 2020/21.

The money forms part of a £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund to be spent on innovation and infrastructure over the next five years.

Hammond also confirmed another £1.1bn to be spent on local transport schemes in England and £220m for improving pinch points on the strategic road network.

But contractors will still have to wait while key infrastructure spending departments prioritise which projects will benefit from extra funding.

In the longer term he said infrastructure spending would rise to between 1-1.2% of GDP by 2020 compared to the current rate of 0.8%.

Hammond also confirmed that this would be the last Autumn Statement with the main Budget moving to the Autumn outlining only one set of major fiscal policy changes a year.

John Tutte, Chief Executive Officer at Redrow, said: “The announcement of the £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to overcome local objections and unlock 100,000 new homes in areas of high demand is very welcomed.

“To be successful, new communities must be supported by improvements to local infrastructure and services and these proposals recognise this.”

The Government has also pledged to reboot its Private Finance 2 initiative with a list of projects to make up the initial pipeline, covering both economic and social infrastructure, to be set out in early 2017.

It was also announced that the Chief Secretary to the Treasury will chair a new ministerial group that will oversee the delivery of priority infrastructure projects.

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority will lead a review to identify ways government, working with industry, can improve the quality, cost and performance of UK infrastructure. The review will report in summer 2017.

The government will also provide £50m of new capital funding to support the expansion of existing grammar schools in each year from 2017-18.

National Productivity Investment Fund (£ million)
2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Housing
Accelerated construction 285 635 665 380 *
Affordable housing 1,120 1,125 880 340 *
Housing Infrastructure Fund 60 300 945 1,425 *
Transport
Roads and local transport 365 500 430 650 *
Next generation vehicles 75 100 110 115 *
Digital railways enhancements 30 55 165 285 *
Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor 5 135 0 0 *
Digital Communications
Fibre and 5G investment 25 150 275 290 *
Research and Development
Research and Development funding 425 820 1,500 2,000 *
Total 2,390 3,820 4,970 5,485 7,000

Mike Putnam, Skanska UK’s President and CEO, said: “Clearly, the Government’s pledge to focus investment on improving the country’s infrastructure is good news for the construction sector and good for employment.

“Also, we welcome the National Productivity Investment Fund, announced by the Chancellor, in which infrastructure and research and innovation are seen as pivotal to addressing the UK’s productivity challenge.

“But the industry has a responsibility to ensure that innovation is really targeted at achieving the productivity gains and return on investment that will justify government support in years to come.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to transform the industry in terms of our people and our productivity.

“If customers, contractors and government can work effectively together to make real progress, then we can be more than optimistic for the future and deliver the infrastructure improvements that everyone wants to see.”

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