Scotland Policy Conferences

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at, or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.

If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? Contact us at

The future for infrastructure in Scotland - policy, investment, and contributing to economic recovery, societal priorities, and the path to net-zero

Morning, Tuesday, 5th October 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will examine next steps for infrastructure development in Scotland - and the measures that can be taken to drive economic recovery across the country, as well as tackle challenges around the environment and inequality, and developments in people’s working lives, their priorities, and their habits.

It will be an opportunity to discuss significant policy developments, and issues for their implementation going forward, including:

  • the Infrastructure Investment Plan - published by The Scottish Government in February this year, with a focus on the role of infrastructure in:
    • the response to the pandemic and changes resulting from leaving the EU
    • adapting to climate change
  • the Capital Spending Review - released alongside the Infrastructure Investment Plan, focusing on environmental, economic, and place objectives and investment plans
  • A blueprint for Scotland - published in two parts last year by the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland, with wide-ranging recommendations in areas such as:
    • the relationship between construction and the public sector, especially in the context of COVID-19, with a focus on skills, training, and careers
    • developing an inclusive net-zero carbon economy and the basis for project funding decisions
    • planning, the importance of natural and place-based infrastructure, and a focus on existing assets
    • a devolved regulatory and pricing framework, and greater engagement with the public in decision-making
    • working towards delivery of a full fibre network by 2027

Sessions in the agenda look at:

  • priorities for implementing the Infrastructure Investment Plan
  • the role of infrastructure in supporting post-pandemic recovery
  • what is needed from infrastructure development to contribute to meeting net-zero ambitions
  • next steps for regional development
  • developing digital infrastructure


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from The Scottish Government; BEIS; the Health and Safety Executive; HM Revenue & Customs; and the Office of Rail & Road. Also due to attend are representatives from Audit Scotland; CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang; East Ayrshire Council; Falkirk Council; G H Johnston Building Consultants; Historic Environment Scotland; SELECT; Shoosmiths; University of Dundee; and University of Edinburgh.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of the Scottish Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as representatives from construction and engineering firms, property and land developers, urban and city planners, logistics groups, business consultancies, energy companies, transport bodies, representatives of local government, resident associations, environmental groups, investment groups, law firms, and researchers in academia and higher education, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Senior speaker confirmed from the Scottish Government


Pauline McNeill MSP

Shadow Labour Spokesperson (Justice)

Ronnie Cowan MP

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Infrastructure)


Nicola Hudson

Senior Analyst, Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe)

Duncan Simpson

Co-chair, RMAS Technical and Innovation Group, and Founder, Duncan Simpson Associates

Alan James

Director, Storegga

Gary Smith

Scotland Secretary, GMB

Phil Prentice

Chief Officer, Scotland’s Towns Partnership

Councillor Norman Hampshire

East Lothian Planning Committee Convener

George Gillespie

Executive Director, Neighbourhoods and Sustainability, Glasgow City Council

Louisa Macdonell

CEO, Development Trusts Association Scotland (DTAS)

James McClafferty

Public Sector Director for Scotland, CityFibre

Paul Coffey

Chief Executive Officer, The Scotland 5G Centre

Fionna Kell

Director of Policy, Homes for Scotland

Stephen Slessor

Operations Director, Morrison Construction

Dr Jamie Stewart

Depute Director, Centre for Energy Policy, University of Strathclyde

Gordon Watson

Chief Executive, Loch Lomond and the Trosssachs National Park

Kerry Alexander

Director, Infrastructure Finance and Programmes, Scottish Futures Trust