The key announcements for MPA members included investment in roads, rail, and longer-term spending on bringing forward CCUS, nuclear and hydrogen all of which provide a pipeline of demand and support the UK mineral products industry's transition to net-zero. However, experience over recent years of ambitions not being met tempers what the MPA describes as its confidence in the plans announced today.
Improving delivery is vital, and the National Infrastructure Strategy sets out welcome reforms to help achieve this, with changes to environmental regulations and the planning system.
Responding to the Chancellor's Spending Review pledges, Nigel Jackson, the MPA's chief executive, said: "Increased ambition from Government on new, better and improved infrastructure is always welcome, but it is the realisation of those ambitions, evidenced with actual delivery on the ground, that will be crucial and the true measure of success. We welcome the plans to improve delivery and will keep pressing Government to ensure they come to fruition.
"As the Government itself recognises, the country needs to build itself back to strengthen the recovery from the economic impact of Covid-19. Our industry is essential to this process, and unfortunately, we have seen dithering and delay in the delivery of major projects and infrastructure for far too long.
"Government plans have to be credible and deliverable, or they simply won't be worth the paper they are written on; we will be scrutinising the details following today's statement with keen interest.
"In our submission to the Treasury, ahead of today's announcement, we called for a focus on delivery on infrastructure, and we are glad to see that recognised in the National Infrastructure Strategy. We also set out some of the long-term decisions needed now to support the industry achieve net-zero, so progress on these is welcome."