Association for Project Management (APM) has challenged the UK Government to harness the power of projects for social and economic benefit, following the Queen's speech: the State Opening of Parliament.
The announcement of the new Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill has put the regeneration of the UK's high street in the spotlight, but APM has urged the Government to also deliver the infrastructure, technology, communication and transport projects - among others - that will enable it to achieve its levelling up missions' by 2030. APM is also urging the Government not to miss the opportunity of the link between levelling up and sustainability, but to use the momentum of the recent COP26 climate change conference to level up in a sustainable way, to support net zero commitments.
Speaking after The Queen's speech, Andrew Baldwin, Head of Public Affairs at APM, yesterday said:
There are clear benefits to regenerating the UK's high streets, but it's only part of the picture. It's important that levelling up investment is not compromised for the many other projects that are needed to tackle economic inequality. The recent National Infrastructure Commission warning that parts of the National Infrastructure Strategy are in danger of slipping demonstrates why we need renewed Government focus here.
Other noteworthy project-related announcements in the speech included new legislation to set up the UK Infrastructure Bank, a body designed to increase financing of infrastructure projects; an energy security bill to deliver the commitments in the British Energy Security Strategy and the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution; and new powers to build and operate the next stage of the HS2 high-speed rail line.
It's good to see so much new legislation linked to projects. But it's important to remember however that legislation itself will not deliver these projects, which are so vital to the levelling up agenda. A strong vision, a clear delivery roadmap and a project-centric approach are needed to make levelling up succeed. We're committed to working with the Government, businesses and the wider project community to support delivery of the projects that will change people's lives for the better.
Once the full detail of the Government's approach is known, we'll know whether they're serious about harnessing the power of projects.