Unlocking the UK’s infrastructure pipeline

Unlocking the UK’s infrastructure pipeline

Driving investment in the UK’s transport infrastructure projects


Business relies on infrastructure to keep moving – to transport goods between cities and trade with the world. But only a tiny fraction of projects and upgrades in the pipeline are likely to be secured for delivery. More investment is needed to launch the projects that firms depend on.


The change we’re calling for


Better connecting our regions, and linking the UK with the rest of the world, will play a key role in driving productivity and prosperity for all. We’re calling for government to unblock the infrastructure project pipeline, make it clear and simple to invest in, and ultimately get more vital projects launched.

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    Set out a clearly prioritised pipeline for the UK’s major infrastructure projects and define steps to success

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    Identify and develop a range of long-term funding options, including private investment, to deliver the transport infrastructure the UK needs

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    Now that previous private finance initiatives have been scrapped, develop new models to make it easy for business to partner with government on contracts


Why it's needed


If we can build infrastructure that adequately supports business, firms across the country will benefit from improved transport links, enabling easier transporting of goods and services, and access to a wider pool of talent.

The UK is still far from securing the delivery of most transport projects – some estimates suggest only a tiny fraction will be procured – meaning many will never receive the funding they need. Solutions must be found to prevent business from grinding to a halt.

The Government is investing record amounts in infrastructure and plans to maintain spending at 1-1.2% of GDP between 2020 and 2050. But high ambitions, particularly in road and rail, mean the need for even more investment. Increasing the range of available funding options, starting with private investment, is one way to help unblock the pipeline of essential infrastructure upgrades the UK needs.

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"Business agrees that long-term funding to help deliver the infrastructure the country needs is a challenge that must be tackled. This is true for major projects, such as Crossrail 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, as well as ongoing enhancements to the road and rail networks."

Dan Large, Head of Infrastructure, CBI

Why invest in our future?

Significant uncertainty for the project pipeline

The funding gap is vast and looks only set to widen. It’s clear that a substantial amount of investment is needed if we are to pave the way for these critical infrastructure projects to go ahead.

  • Over the next 10 years, around 50% of the £600 billion infrastructure pipeline is forecast to come from the private sector.

  • Ongoing or planned transport projects in the pipeline which private finance will need to contribute to.

  • The UK currently receives infrastructure contributions from the European Investment Bank. Following Brexit, the future of an estimated €39.2bn is uncertain.

Our progress and impact


The CBI campaigns tirelessly on behalf of our members so that business creates prosperity for all. Learn more about the work we do and the impact we are making on this issue.

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Support the change

  1. Are you a business leader?


    Join the CBI

    Our members are our mandate, and the reason we’re the most influential business organisation in the UK. Join the voice of business, and help us campaign to keep infrastructure a focal point of the government agenda.

    Find out more
  2. Are you a CBI member?


    Have your say

    To ensure business can make its maximum contribution to the public sector delivery of public services and infrastructure, a fresh approach to contract management is needed. Join the conversation.

    Get involved
  3. Are you a policymaker?


    Make a difference

    This campaign is led by the CBI's Infrastructure and Energy team.

    Contact Tom Thackray, Director of Infrastructure and Energy, to find out about the progress UK business urgently needs for infrastructure and how you can support it.

    Contact us