Sir John Armitt reappointed as chair of UK’s National Infrastructure Commission

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Sir John Armitt, who has been reappointed as chair of the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission for a further two years.

UK chancellor of the exchequer reappoints chair of infrastructure advisory body for further two-year term.

Sir John Armitt has been reappointed as chair of the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) for a further two years while Julia Prescot has been appointed deputy chair.

Armitt has served as the chair of the NIC since 2018, prior to which he was deputy chair and a commissioner since the NIC was established in 2015.

With a background in engineering, Armitt’s expertise in infrastructure and major project delivery is extensive. He has a proven track record of working at the forefront of UK infrastructure in positions that included the chief executive of Network Rail, president of the Institution of Civil Engineers and chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, where he played a key role in coordinating the 2012 London Olympics. He was awarded a CBE in 1996 for his contribution to the rail industry and a knighthood in 2012 for his work in engineering and construction.

Julia Prescot has served as a commissioner since 2017, is a co-founder and chief strategy officer of Meridiam, a leading global investor and asset manager specialising in public infrastructure and has been involved in long-term infrastructure development and investment in the UK, Europe, North America and Africa. Prescott is an honorary professor at the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, University College London. She also serves as deputy chair of the Port of Tyne.

The NIC was established to provide impartial, expert advice to the UK government on major long-term economic infrastructure challenges. In autumn 2023, the NIC is due to publish the second National Infrastructure Assessment. This will analyse the UK’s long term economic infrastructure needs, outlining a strategic vision over the next 30 years and setting out recommendations for how identified needs should be met.

UK chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt said: “I am very pleased to reappoint Sir John Armitt as chair of the National Infrastructure Commission. Sir John’s extensive engineering and major project delivery expertise is hugely valuable, and I look forward to continuing to work with him to deliver sustainable economic growth across the UK.

“I am also very happy that Sir John will be joined by Julia Prescot, who has been appointed as deputy chair, to jointly lead the organisation as they prepare for the next National Infrastructure Assessment.”

Sir John Armitt commented: “Chairing the commission is both a great privilege and a serious responsibility, offering impartial, expert advice to government on the role of infrastructure in helping solve some of the UK’s biggest economic and environmental challenges.

“I welcome Julia’s appointment as deputy chair which will assist our preparations for the next National Infrastructure Assessment in particular. Together, we and our fellow commissioners look forward to presenting the assessment to ministers and working with them, alongside others in the public and private sectors, to ensure our infrastructure is ready to face the future.”

Sir John Armitt’s new appointment period will end in January 2025 and Julia Prescot’s term as deputy chair will end in April 2027. In addition to these appointments, the chancellor intends to launch a competition to appoint a new commissioner to the NIC as a successor to Bridget Rosewell, who is stepping down as a commissioner following her appointment as a non-executive director of the UK Infrastructure Bank.