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27/08/2020

Infrastructure Commission in prospect for Northern Ireland

Words: Roger Milne
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Northern Ireland’s infrastructure minister Nichola Mallon has taken the first step towards creating an Infrastructure Commission for Northern Ireland.

She has set up a panel to advise her on the specific role and value of a commission and how it might be established and operate.

Its scope will reflect the “hard” infrastructure that falls within the remit of the Department for Infrastructure, namely: water, drainage and inland waterways, public transport, roads and cycling infrastructure. 

Kirsty McManus of the Institute of Directors is chairing the panel, which will comprise a small group of independent experts and key stakeholders with an interest in infrastructure. 

The Department for Infrastructure explained the panel would undertake “a short, sharp, focused exercise, meeting as required during August and early September ”.

It will present a final report to the minister including a series of key recommendations, by autumn 2020. Although it will focus on the responsibilities of the infrastructure department it may also consider whether any future commission should have a remit that goes wider than the DfI.

McManus said: “I look forward to exploring how we can secure a long-term approach to infrastructure planning and delivery in Northern Ireland and help drive our post-Covid recovery.”

Mallon said: “I have been engaging with key stakeholders on the need for a long-term approach to infrastructure planning and delivery and am keen to develop a proposal, which explores the potential value that an Infrastructure Commission for Northern Ireland might bring not just to the North but to our entire island.”

Further details can be found on the DfI website here.

Image credit | Norther Ireland Assembly

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