Treasury Unveils UK Infrastructure Plans

The Treasury's "Blueprint For Britain" Promises To Invest Billions In Rail, Energy and Water

05.12.2013

The government has unveiled details about its National Infrastructure Plan (NIP), which will help SMEs to improve their growth prospects over the coming decade.

One of the key features of the NIP is a £375 billion investment in a number of sectors, including transport, communications, energy and water, although no new funding will be sanctioned and all projects have previously been revealed by the government, reports the BBC.

Residents on Anglesey have been informed they will be granted billions of pounds of investment for the development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa.
 
Although campaigners in the area had called on the project to be scrapped following the Fukushima disaster in Japan, the economic benefits of the facility are many and thousands of jobs rely on its continuing operation.

HS2 will also be among projects getting funding from the central government and despite fierce opposition from people in areas affected by the new rail line, lobbyists in favour of the proposed infrastructure project predict it will help reduce inequality between the north of England and areas like London.

Despite the pledge from coalition figures to back new spending, the Labour party has claimed both Conservative and Liberal Democrat ministers are guilty of a "complete failure" when it comes to getting schemes up and running.

Chris Leslie, Labour's shadow chief secretary to the treasury, said: "With the country facing a cost-of-living crisis we need to invest in infrastructure to create jobs, boost living standards and strengthen our economy for the long-term.

"The ONS [Office for National Statistics] says that infrastructure work is down 3.7 per cent in the last year and fell by ten per cent in 2012... in the spending review the government set out plans to cut capital investment even further."

While successive governments have pledged to back large infrastructure projects, backbench MPs are usually sceptical of the public sector's ability to handle this kind of expenditure and both Labour and Conservative governments have struggled to get schemes off the ground.

Expert Opinion
With the future increasingly bright for small businesses if research is to be believed, this announcement may be another positive for start-ups, entrepreneurs and medium-sized firms which are preparing themselves for fresh opportunities.

"However, as with any projects and initiatives in the coming months, the key issue they will need to consider if they are to thrive is to ensure that they have the right support network available to them.

"This includes having access to timely and specialist legal advice from experts who understand the small and medium-sized business community and will be able to help them successful navigate their way through the choppy waters which can emerge when looking to grow or expand operations."
Fergal Dowling, Partner