Infrastructure and housing feature in Government's industrial strategy

Funding for infrastructure including water and flood defence measures, as well as housing, will help improve productivity and better distribute wealth across the country, according to the Government's freshly-published industrial strategy.

Infrastructure project by Gillespies: Crossrail Palace Roof Garden - image: Jason Gairn
Infrastructure project by Gillespies: Crossrail Palace Roof Garden - image: Jason Gairn

Setting out what it calls "a new vision" which does not repeat past mistakes and learns from successes both here and abroad, a Green Paper Building Our Industrial Strategy, just published for consultation by the Government, said the Government will use "additional infrastructure funding to unlock growth in areas where connectivity is holding it back by creating new funding which allows better coordination of local economic plans with infrastructure investment".

It outlined 10 pillars "to get all parts of the country firing on all cylinders", including upgrading infrastructure. It said: "We must upgrade our standards of performance on digital, energy, transport, water and flood defence infrastructure, and better align central Government infrastructure investment with local growth priorities."

Another of the 10 is housing, "a key factor in driving economic growth". The document said that the forthcoming Housing White Paper "will seek to ensure housing supply is more responsive to changing patterns of demand, and flexes as the industrial strategy takes effect".

The Green Paper outlines 14 per cent economic growth in the UK since 2010, with employment at a record high but per capita incomes lagging behind the increase in GDP.

"If we want to see faster growth in wages, sustained over the long term and experienced across the country, the UK needs to address the productivity gap with other leading countries," it said.

Separately the Government announced this morning £556 million of new funding "for the Northern Powerhouse to help create jobs, support businesses and encourage growth".

The money will go to the 11 Local Enterprise Partnerships in the region to spend on projects including an integrated transport facility at Goole; a new conference centre for Blackpool; flood resilience measures in Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Kirklees and Leeds, and a new advanced manufacturing park in Sunderland and South Tyneside.

The consultation runs until 17 April 2017.

Infrastructure projects were identified as one of the biggest growth areas for the landscape sector in 2017 by sector professionals in Horticulture Week's 2017 preview. 

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