National Infrastructure Commission to open Leeds office

Chancellor says move will “boost” adviser’s role in addressing regional differences
Leeds Town Hall. Photo: Michael Wood/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

By Jim Dunton

20 Dec 2021

Government advisory body the National Infrastructure Commission will open a new office in Leeds as part of wider plans to move civil service jobs out of the South East.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the commission, which is an independent executive agency of HM Treasury, would have staff at its new Yorkshire base by the end of 2023. It will retain a presence in London, however.

Civil Service World understands that a location for the new office, which is expected to be the primary workplace for around 20 of the NIC’s secretariat – approximately 40% of its staff – has yet to be identified. However options are likely to include colocation with the new UK Infrastructure Bank, which opened its headquarters in Leeds earlier this year, or taking space in HM Revenue and Customs’ Wellington Place hub in the city.

Sunak said the government was committed to delivering high-quality infrastructure across all regions of the UK and the NIC had an “invaluable role” providing impartial advice to support that work.

“It’s fantastic to announce that the National Infrastructure Commission will be opening a new office in Leeds,” he said.

“This will help distribute investment and opportunity right across the country as we level up opportunities, boost the economy and help create jobs.”

NIC chair Sir John Armitt said Leeds was a great city to live and work in and the commission’s new office would underline the commission’s role in advising government on the part infrastructure could play in boosting local economies and improving quality of life across the UK.

“We look forward to continuing to work with local leaders as the commission starts work on our next major assessment of the country’s infrastructure needs for the future, to be published in 2023,” he said.

The NIA carries out in-depth studies into the UK’s major infrastructure needs – covering transport, energy, water, flood protection, waste and digital infrastructure – and makes recommendations to the government.

Sunak’s announcement that Leeds will host a second office for the NIC comes just over a month after the government effectively scrapped plans to fully connect Leeds with the High Speed Two rail network.

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