Although the infrastructure market deal pipeline is somewhat quiet, we remain positive in our long-term outlook and will continue to provide you with regular summary updates on projects being tendered in the UK.
The Government recently announced that chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, has been appointed to handpick forty of the biggest infrastructure projects “important to growth” to be given priority status. Research shows us that these hand-picked projects are set to include high-speed broadband, national grid efficiency projects, rail improvements, such as Crossrail and Great Western, and road projects, including congestion reduction measures on main M1 and the M25 routes. Infrastructure Journal Online recently reported that over the first eight months of 2011, an array of interesting projects and related developments were recorded. Certainly this Government announcement would suggest the trend is set to continue. However, we are concerned, as are others in the industry, that this announcement has little substance there is no concrete information about new investment or infrastructure projects which can be easily accessed. High-speed broadband is simply not the most pressing of our infrastructure needs and Crossrail is already well under-way. So where is the commitment to infrastructure spending that the Coalition professed to have? We need solid plans for new investment and a true commitment to the goals of the Infrastructure Costs Review, not a re-hash of projects already in existence.
Whilst this leaves a sour taste, Infrastructure Journal Online reports that there are a number of UK projects approaching the final stages in the housing, police, hospitals, waste, university and urban regeneration sector pipelines. In the transport sector, four large UK transport projects are in procurement. For example, the US$3.2 billion Sheffield Highways is set to request final bids in November/December, and pick a Preferred Bidder by the end of the year, and the US$1.8 billion Isle of Wight Highways Maintenance project has invited detailed solutions. And in the education sector, encouragingly, given the cull of Building Schools for the Future programmes, a new £2 billion programme for the next generation of schools was announced earlier this year.
We are committed to assisting you in tracking the procurement process of projects relevant to your business and will continue to research forthcoming projects to bring you information as it becomes available.
We also recommend you visit our website for up-to-date articles on developments in the infrastructure market.