Simon Lawrence: Behind the scenes of the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline

Each year one of our biggest undertakings is the publishing of the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline, with the latest versions being published in December last year.

It shows every major infrastructure project and programme in the country and looks forward to the early 2030s. Overall, we estimate we will spend around £600 billion over the next decade, including both public and private investment. Its main purpose is to help businesses, investors and the supply chain plan for future projects. It’s also a great resource for government to have all this information in one place.

It was a heroic effort by the IPA team to publish a data set of this reach, that lists all known projects and programmes, their costs and an accompanying analysis document to make sense of it all.

What many people don’t know is that while we start on the Pipeline about 4 months before we publish, there is a lot of hard work analysing and quality-assuring the data all the way to publication – One member of the team referred to the task as the IPA’s equivalent to the Budget. They also said ‘never again’, but since we have been doing it since 2011 they are out of luck!

We rely, and owe a huge thank you, to all our colleagues across Whitehall and external partners who play a huge part in providing the source data and working with us so patiently to the very end.

One of the biggest jobs is collecting and sorting out all the data which is already in the public domain, but stored in lots of different places and in lots of different ways. It should be getting easier, but the list of projects gets longer and the team are always trying to come up with new ways of bringing the data to life and making it more accessible for the thousands of people who use it.

Since publication we have been meeting industry and business colleagues who use the pipeline, to get their feedback, so we can improve the quality and presentation of the information in the next iteration, which we hope to do towards the end of this year.

By Simon Laurence, Programme Director for Major Infrastructure Tracking

If you would like to know more developing the infrastructure in your local area, you can hear from leading experts such as Keith Waller, Senior Adviser at IPA who will be speaking at the Public Sector Show on 26th June, at Excel London.