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


Improving transport infrastructure to better connect our regions, and link the UK with the rest of the world, will play a key role in driving prosperity for all. We’re calling for government to unlock private sector investment in UK infrastructure, and ultimately get more vital projects funded and delivered.

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    Explore and develop new solutions for attracting private finance to UK infrastructure

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    Deliver the recommended level of public spending on UK infrastructure projects, as determined by the National Infrastructure Commission

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    Develop a function that specifically engages with international investors to encourage greater investment from overseas


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 just 8% 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 the amount of investment required is expected to stretch beyond these plans. 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 issues around procurement practices; risk transfer in infrastructure projects; the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline; and investment models will all need to be addressed to ensure UK infrastructure can attract more private finance."

Liz Crowhurst, Head of Infrastructure, CBI

Why invest in our future?

Significant uncertainty for the project pipeline

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.

  • Of the projected £600 billion infrastructure investment pipeline for the next 10 years, half is forecast to come from the private sector

  • In the water sector alone, companies have invested more than £150 billion in the last 30 years

  • 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