From Pandemic To Permacrisis: Infrastructure Perspectives 2023

May, 2023

UK infrastructure project leaders have never had it so tough. Just three years on from a global pandemic, they face complex issues on all fronts. The war in Europe has disrupted supply chains and sent energy costs and inflation soaring. Meanwhile, there has been unprecedented political instability and economic volatility at home. In addition, the standards by which infrastructure programmes are judged have become more challenging.

In this report, alongside our partners Ankura, we have spoken with the leaders of some of the UK’s largest and most important infrastructure programmes to understand how they are adapting to this new normal and their priorities for the future. The impact of global and domestic events has solidified their resolve to address three fundamental challenges: to decarbonise, digitalise and standardise.

The first Infrastructure Perspectives report identified three priorities for the sector: to digitise, decarbonise and standardise. Two years on, our leaders remain united around these themes, and the current geopolitical and macroeconomic context makes the need for progress more important than ever.

The key themes identified as central to making progress in these key areas and explored across this report are:

  1. Decisions, decisions
    Against the current economic backdrop, a faster and lower cost planning regime that provides earlier certainty is a necessity, not a nice to have.
  1. Collaborate to innovate
    The sector must get closer to its supply chain and collaborate beyond project boundaries around the big challenges of net zero, digitalisation and productivity.
  1. All minds at the table
    Greater diversity of thought is essential to combat groupthink and drive creative thinking.
  1. Risk is good
    Now more than ever, the public sector must change its stance on risk to drive bold, transformative change.
  1. Mind the (digital) gap
    A shift in attitudes to transparency could unlock significant improvements in performance and allow the sector to capitalise on recent technological advances.