July 23 2015

Government to pump billions of pounds into water sector

Details on the latest National Infrastructure Pipeline were released earlier this week, providing an in-depth analysis of the planned investment into the water industry and flood defences.

Laying out proposed levels of annual spend between 2015 and 2020, the refreshed National Infrastructure Pipeline shows in more detail than ever the distribution of funding to the infrastructure sector.

It reveals that the government aims to pump £25.7 billion into the water sector. This is fantastic news for local authorities in desperate need of water improvements, and the number of water industry recruitment opportunities the funding presents offers further positivity for the economy. In comparison, the £3.5 billion sidelined for flood defence projects will cover 22 programmes and five projects over the next five years.

Thames Tideway Tunnel significant project being funded

The spending will be split into 28 different programmes and one major project – the Thames Tideway Tunnel. Valued at £3.27 billion alone, the Tideway Tunnel is one of the most significant projects in recent years and will provide a healthier and cleaner River Thames. The proposed completion date is in 2020, which is hoped to be met with the appropriately skilled tunnelling workforce.

Water and flood defence are just two of the countless sectors listed in the National Infrastructure Pipeline. Energy and Transport are the two largest divisions; covering £245 billion and £127.4 billion respectively, they represent 91 per cent of the Pipeline’s total value. In all, there are 265 programmes and 295 projects in the pipeline, with annual spend to average £48 billion over the next five years. The total value of the pipeline is £411 billion, 64 per cent of which is funded by the private sector, 11 per cent through mixed private/public funded projects and the remaining 25 per cent fronted by the taxpayer.

In line with the unveiling of the refreshed pipeline, the government is also undertaking a separate scheme to identify potential shortfalls in capacity which could impact delivery. The government plans to ensure there is a skilled workforce in place to deliver and maintain a world-class infrastructure for many years to come.

Image Credit: Steve Johnson (

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