Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.

Developing major infrastructure projects across the UK - investment, the National Infrastructure Strategy, and the impact of COVID-19

TO BE PUBLISHED July 2020


***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***


This conference will assess the next steps for UK infrastructure, and the way forward for developing major projects. 


Of course we expect discussion on the day to reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry, its workforce and its partners and customers, including:


  • Supporting the sector and its workforce as the industry adapts to new ways of working, evolving infrastructure requirements, and the economic impact of COVID-19.
  • Employment, working practices and the Government’s policy response, looking at measures such as:
    • the Coronavirus Job Retention and loan schemes,
    • expanded testing to cover construction workers, and
    • proposals to allow extended hours on some construction sites and to make the planning system operate remotely.
  • Learning that can be taken forward from the way stakeholders have innovated and adapted to the crisis.
  • The economic fallout and wider issues that will affect the sectors involved in infrastructure into the future, including:
    • the future of the Government’s policy programme for infrastructure,
    • the position of private investors and the supply chain, and
    • societal changes affecting the nature of demand.

Key areas for discussion:


  • Investment and finance - looking at:
    • investment confidence in an uncertain economic time,
    • the future of alternative mechanisms such as the regulated asset base (RAB) model,
    • further new approaches to project funding and sourcing private and public investment following the ban on the use of PFI and PF2, and
    • how public funding and private finance can be utilised at the lowest cost to the taxpayer.
  • Long-term planning for a national infrastructure pipeline - with discussion on:
    • adapting to changing behaviour patterns such as an increase in remote working, and shifts to walking and cycling,
    • assessing policy mechanisms for speeding up delivery and reducing costs,
    • government support measures,
    • mobilising key sectors, and
    • tying together projects in a national context.
  • Delivering the National Infrastructure Strategy - and addressing key challenges, with discussion on:
    • reaching net zero emissions by 2050,
    • leveraging and supporting delivery partners, and
    • accelerating the planning process.
  • Levelling up UK regions - looking at:
    • modernising national infrastructure,
    • supporting economic recovery and addressing economic growth imbalances,
    • building capacity and connectivity, and
    • unlocking local productivity.

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:


  • A Safe Working Charter launched by the Government and the Home Builders Federation aimed at enabling a safe return to work, as part of wider moves to restart the UK housing sector.
  • Government announcing funding for critical infrastructure services and announcing funding for projects going ahead, including:
  • The Spring Budget and new investment commitments for UK infrastructure, including for:
    • strategic roads,
    • city region transport schemes,
    • new housing development, and
    • improving internet speed and access.
  • The forthcoming National Infrastructure Strategy, which will outline Government priorities for modernising:
    • rail, road, energy, housing and digital infrastructure,
    • regional and city connectivity, and
    • climate resilience.
  • The Planning for the Future policy paper recently released by the government, which sets out the government's plans for housing and planning following the 2020 Budget.
  • The Infrastructure Finance Review consultation.
  • Commitments to level up UK regions through infrastructure development and unlocking economic growth, with: 
    • High-Speed rail 2 and £5bn of new bus funding for enhancing transport connectivity, and
    • a forthcoming planning white paper for simplifying the planning process.

The agenda:


  • Tying together UK infrastructure projects and delivering the infrastructure Strategy;
  • Assessing practical challenges for the National Infrastructure Strategy and developing the UK’s infrastructure - supporting the industry and workforce through the pandemic, and delivering infrastructure for a changing society;
  • Next steps for funding infrastructure projects - innovation in finance models, investor confidence, and ensuring projects are value for money;
  • Priorities for reaching net zero by 2050, supporting economic recovery, and developing connected infrastructure;
    • Designing a planning system for efficient project delivery - clear guidance, accelerating approval processes, and leveraging local support and engagement;
    • Improving transport infrastructure capacity across the UK, and unlocking connectivity and economic development;
    • Developing regional infrastructure to support economic recovery and changing behaviour patterns;
    • Key issues for infrastructure modernisation and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 - building climate resilience, low-carbon project delivery, and retaining cost effectiveness; and
    • Deploying UK digital infrastructure to support digital services and remote working, and reducing barriers to rollout.

Policy officials attending:


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.


It’s certainly the case with this one. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons, and officials from BEIS; the MHCLG; the Department for Transport; Homes England; the Infrastructure and Projects Authority; the Office of Rail and Road; The Planning Inspectorate; the Cabinet OfficeDefra; the Department for International Trade; the Government Legal DepartmentHM Revenue & Customs; the National Audit OfficeUK Government Investments and the Welsh Government.


This is a full-scale conference taking place online***


  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference



Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


Shortly after every Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes

Presentations

Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval


Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda

Q&A

Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Articles

Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates