The National Infrastructure Commission has appointed Sir John Armitt as the permanent successor to Lord Andrew Adonis, who quit the body at the end of last year citing the government’s handling of Brexit among his reasons.
Armitt, who is a former chief executive of Network Rail and was chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, was already NIC deputy chair and had been standing in for Adonis following his resignation.
Chancellor Philip Hammond, whose Treasury is the NIC’s parent department, said Armitt had a proven track record of working at the forefront of UK infrastructure – not least in the delivery of the London 2012 Olympics.
“Boosting productivity is essential to sustaining real wage growth, and investing in infrastructure is one of the keys to raising our productivity performance,” the chancellor said.
“Sir John Armitt brings years of experience of UK infrastructure. With him at the helm, I am confident we will develop a strategic and ambitious infrastructure plan that supports economic growth for decades to come.”
Armitt said he was “delighted” to be appointed NIC chair and wanted the executive agency to remain focused on tackling “long-term issues of congestion, capacity and carbon” as well as continuing to hold the government to account when decisive action was required.
“I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners and listening to our stakeholders as we set out the way forward for the UK’s infrastructure,” he said.
The NIC was created by then-chancellor George Osborne in 2015 and is due to publish its first National Infrastructure Assessment this summer. The assessment is supposed to be a long-term view of Britain’s infrastructure needs and make recommendations to the government on how best to meet them.