The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) has written to Jeremy Hunt, calling on the new chancellor to “maintain funding for capital projects which will grow the productive capacity of UK PLC.”
Ahead of Thursday’s autumn statement (17 November), ACE CEO Stephen Marcos Jones also reminded the chancellor that “government has already committed to billions of pounds of infrastructure spending, all of which has a huge potential to unlock economic growth.”
With COP27 underway in Egypt, Marcos Jones also outlined how ACE members will be key to achieving net zero, reinforcing the fact that “they have the delivery capacity to support the government, but this will require further efforts to unlock global private investment.”
The letter outlined a number of asks in transport, procurement, places and climate change where ACE would like to see progress.
- Deliver on commitments around HS2 and the Integrated Rail Plan, to realise the economic and social benefits of these projects.
- Strengthen financial and practical incentives for innovation, including allowing for demonstrator projects or even pre-project simulations to allow businesses a safe space to test their innovations.
- Promote effective implementation of the construction playbook, and early publication of the infrastructure pipeline. This would give companies and industry greater opportunities to plan for the future, particularly on issues around recruitment and retention, as well as individual company budgets.
- Look again at the competitive nature of levelling up funding, but also ensure that existing successful bids are focused on driving up overall skill levels and promoting net zero projects in areas identified as needing to be levelled up.
- Encourage the use of co-investment between public and private sector to grow investment in place-based projects.
- Provide a clear and stable policy platform, alongside funding on innovation, which gives companies and industry the confidence it needs to innovate and prioritise resilience and climate mitigation-based solutions.
- Encourage flexible policy measures to give innovators incentives to identify the best way to meet climate objectives, and to avoid locking-in technologies that may become inefficient in future.
The chancellor will deliver his autumn statement on Thursday 17 November. ACE members will receive a briefing summarising the announcements on the day of the statement via email.