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GMB On £375 Billion Infrastructure Plan

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

GMB Call For More Apprenticeships And Investment In Manufacturing Capacity To Support £375 Billion National Infrastructure Plan

Energy and infrastructure projects should be used to create manufacturing jobs in the UK and it isn't happening says GMB

GMB, the union for construction and energy workers, commented on the Government’s new national infrastructure plan (NIP) which sets out over £375 billion of planned public and private investments to 2030 and beyond. See notes to editors for copy of written ministerial statement and website links to full documents.

Phil Whitehurst, GMB National Officer for Construction said “A workload of £375 billion over the next 20 years is great news for the construction industry and the supply chain.

This must now spark the Government and industry into action to ensure that there are enough construction related apprenticeships.

With Hinkley Point C and the nuclear renaissance gathering pace we are not going to have enough skilled workers to build these stations unless enough construction related apprentices are taken on. Let's hope the government does not kick the can down the road again and wait for others to start the initiative. We need to start a massive apprenticeship programme now. GMB is ready to play its part in delivering this programme.”

Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary for Energy and Utilities, said “Government must also ensure that this opportunity to promote investment in the UK based manufacturing capacity needed to support the infrastructure plan is not missed.

Companies like National Grid are sourcing most of the components and cables they are using on their projects from countries like China.

Investment in energy and infrastructure projects should be used to create manufacturing jobs in the UK. People in the UK expect companies like National Grid to be supporting manufacturing jobs in the UK and it isn't happening.”


Contact Phil Whitehurst 07968 338810 or Gary Smith 07710 618 909 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880

Notes to Editors

1 text of Government announcement with links to all the documents here:

 National Infrastructure Plan 2013

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Mr Danny Alexander): This Government is committed to reversing the effects of historic underinvestment and equipping the UK with world-class infrastructure.

The government is today publishing the National Infrastructure Plan 2013, which updates its plan for the next decade and beyond, and announcing a package of measures which will further support its ambition.

Economic regulators’ study

The government recognises the value of fully independent regulation for economic infrastructure, and remains committed to this system. There is nevertheless scope for broader consideration of the way regulators work together and with the government on issues related to cross-sectoral infrastructure delivery. It has therefore initiated a joint HMT/BIS study to look particularly at developing better joint working, more clearly explaining the role of economic regulation, and facilitating cross sector infrastructure investment. Recommendations from the study will be made in spring 2014.

Broadband fund and local procurement

The government will open a £10 million competitive fund in 2014 to market test innovative solutions, delivering superfast broadband services to the most difficult to reach areas of the UK; the government will continue to support local bodies to develop appropriate strategies to procure additional coverage in areas not covered by current plans, using the £250 million allocated at Spending Round 2013.

Public Works Loan Board (PWLB)

The government is allocating the remaining £800 million of borrowing at the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) project rate as part of growth deals. This will be available to LEPs working in partnership with local authorities in 2014-15 and 2015-16 and allocated on a competitive basis alongside the Single Local Growth Fund.

The government is also announcing that local authorities in Scotland and Wales will have access to the Public Works Loan Board project rate to support priority infrastructure projects. A total of £400m of borrowing will be available from 2014-15 to 2015-16, subject to agreement with the Devolved Administrations on the precise mechanics and conditions.

Airport surface-access

The government is today taking forward measures proposed by the Airports Commission by introducing a package of improvements to airport surface-access. These measures include making available £50 million for a full redevelopment of the railway station at Gatwick Airport (subject to satisfactory commercial negotiations with the Airport), 2

setting up a new study into southern rail access to Heathrow, and including access to Stansted on a current study of the East Anglian mainline.

Sir Howard Davies’ letter recommending these measures has today been published on the Airports Commission’s website.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The Government will support the London Legacy Development Corporation and Mayor of London in developing their plans for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. This includes plans for a new higher education and cultural quarter on the Park, in partnership with University College London and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Ultra-low emission vehicles

The government will invest £5 million during 2014-15 in a large scale electric vehicle readiness programme for public sector fleets. The programme aims to promote the adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles, demonstrating clear leadership by the public sector to encourage future widespread acceptance.

River Thames Garden Bridge

The government will provide a £30 million contribution to support the construction of a new Garden Bridge across the River Thames in London. This will supplement funding from Transport for London and private donations.


The government will provide funding to support improvements to the A50 around Uttoxeter starting no later than 2015-16 (subject to statutory procedures) to support local growth, jobs and housing; this project will be subject to the usual developer contributions.


The government is confirming that there will be no tolling on the planned A14 scheme between Cambridge and Huntingdon (one of its Top 40 priority investments), construction of which is planned to start in 2016; it has listened to concerns from local residents and businesses who rely on this road and, following a consultation, has decided to take forward a scheme which does not include a tolling element

Driverless cars

The government will review the legislative and regulatory framework to ensure there is a clear and appropriate regime for the testing of driverless cars that supports the world’s car companies to come to develop and test them here. The review will report at the end of 2014.

The government will also provide a prize fund of £10m for a town or city to develop as a test site for consumer testing of driverless cars. 3

Strike Prices

The government is today announcing the ‘strike prices’ for key renewable energy generation technologies from 2015-16 to 2018-19. These prices confirm the level of support that private sector developers will be guaranteed to be paid for their electricity through a top up from the wholesale price, under the new Electricity Market Reform regime.

The government will announce further details on contract terms by the end of 2013.

Judicial Review reform

The government will establish a specialist planning court with set deadlines to accelerate the handling of cases, take forward work to ensure that minor procedural claims are dealt with proportionally and allow appeals to ‘leapfrog’ directly to the Supreme Court in a wider range of circumstances.

Development Benefits

The Government wants to ensure that households benefit from development in their local area. Building on the measures already in place (including the neighbourhood funding element of the Community Infrastructure Levy and the New Homes Bonus), the Government will work with industry, local authorities and other interested parties to develop a pilot passing a share of the benefits of development directly to individual households.

Planning System

The government is taking further steps to speed up the town and country planning system.

The government will consult on measures to improve plan-making, including a statutory requirement to put a Local Plan in place.

The government will legislate to treat planning conditions as approved where an authority has failed to discharge a condition on time, and will consult on legislative measures to strengthen the requirement for planning authorities to justify any conditions that must be discharged before building can start.

The government will consult to reduce the number of applications where unnecessary statutory consultations occur and pilot a single point of contact for cases where conflicting advice is provided by key statutory consultees.

Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project planning review

The government is today launching a review of the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Planning Regime and is publishing a discussion document on making this regime even more effective.

The government will freeze planning application fees for the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Planning Regime for at least the remainder of this Parliament. 4

‘Top 40’ planning applications

To support the delivery of ‘the Top 40’, the Government will ensure where possible that these projects have the option to use the regime. These projects and programmes have been identified by Government as critical priorities for delivery and, while each application to use the nationally significant Infrastructure regime must be considered on its merits, Government will have regard to this ‘Top 40’ designation in those considerations.

National Networks National Policy Statement

Alongside the National Infrastructure Plan the government has published the National Networks National Policy Statement (NPS) for consultation and parliamentary scrutiny

UK Guarantee Scheme

The Government has agreed the terms of a UK Guarantee facility with the GLA to support up to £1bn of borrowing for the construction of the Northern Line extension to Battersea Power Station (subject to a satisfactory Transport and Works Act order). This in turn has facilitated a commercial agreement between the GLA, Transport for London and the developers at Battersea PS for the redevelopment of the site

In addition the government has approved a guarantee for a £10 million deal under the scheme to help provide finance for the installation of energy saving lighting equipment across a portfolio of car parks managed and operated by National Car Parks Limited (NCP) resulting in a 60 per cent reduction in energy consumption.

And the government has confirmed that it has entered into a cooperation agreement with Hitachi and Horizon with the aim of being able to agree an in-principle guarantee by the end of 2016 to support the financing of a new nuclear power plant at Wylfa Newydd, subject to final due diligence and ministerial approval.

UK Insurance Growth Action Plan

As part of the Government’s ‘UK Insurance Growth Action Plan’, also published today, UK insurers have agreed to work alongside partners with the aim of delivering at least £25 billion of investment in UK infrastructure over the next 5 years, including, but not restricted to, projects in the published infrastructure pipeline.

Asset Sales

The government has identified further assets with the potential for sale and the target for the sale of corporate and financial assets will be increased from £10 billion to £20 billion between 2014 and 2020.

Copies of the National Infrastructure Plan 2013 will be available on the website and have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.

HM Treasury

4 December 2013

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