The Infrastructure Commission for Scotland has published its Phase 2 Delivery Findings Report focusing on how the Scottish Government’s 30-year infrastructure strategy is to be delivered, a sequel to the Commission’s initial report in January this year which concentrated on the “what and why” of that strategy.

We will have to wait until September this year for the government to put meat on the bones of this strategy when it is scheduled to announce its next five-year Infrastructure Investment Plan detailing the actual infrastructure projects to be delivered.

The Commission itself will now be dissolved having fulfilled its purpose but does recommend that in its place a new independent body is established in early 2021 to provide long term strategic infrastructure advice to the Scottish Government.

Other key recommendations include:

  • enshrining the Place Principle and implementing a one public sector approach to planning and developing sustainable places;
  • established a Construction Accord between the Scottish Government and the Construction Scotland Leadership Group to strengthen the future relationship between the public sector and the construction industry.

The mantra at the heart of the strategy remains the prioritisation of an inclusive, net-zero carbon economy.

Interestingly, the commission has advised against the creation of yet another quango, the mooted Scottish National Infrastructure Company, for project delivery.

As to what all of this means for the construction industry in terms of “shovel ready” projects for social, economic and natural infrastructure, the jury remains out until September.

Let’s hope that existing frameworks such as the hub model for the procurement of community infrastructure will be used to facilitate speedy project delivery.