Scotland Policy Conferences

Infrastructure in Scotland - progress and priorities for the next Infrastructure Investment Plan

Morning, Friday, 28th February 2020

Central Edinburgh


The conference will examine the priorities for infrastructure development in Scotland - and how to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of infrastructure investment.

It is timed to discuss the 30 year strategy for infrastructure development following its expected publication by the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland (ICS) in late 2019.

The strategy focuses on how to meet Scotland’s future economic growth and societal needs, and ensure alignment with the new National Planning Framework (NPF4).

The conference takes place as the Commission begins discussion on how to deliver the strategy.

The seminar is also expected to follow the final publication of Scotland’s second National Transport Strategy (NTS2) following its publication in draft form, and the development of the National Planning Framework.

We are pleased that the agenda for this conference includes keynote addresses from: Ian Russell, Chair, Infrastructure Commission for Scotland and Peter Reekie, Chief Executive, Scottish Futures Trust.

Sessions in the agenda focus on:

  • Priorities for Scotland’s strategic infrastructure over the next 30 years;
  • Assessing the Infrastructure Commission’s recommendations - sustainability and growth across Scotland;
  • Ensuring value for money in infrastructure investment;
  • Delivering Scotland’s infrastructure priorities - funding, collaboration and ensuring effective procurement; and
  • Next steps for the National Infrastructure Mission.

The vision for Scotland’s strategic infrastructure over the next 30 years

Delegates will assess the 30 year strategy, which is expected to focus on aiming towards a net zero carbon Scotland and approaches towards achieving an inclusive economy - including ICS priorities for the value and achievability of the proposals.

Areas for discussion include:

  • Plans for reduction in transport emissions across Scotland and to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars by 2032; and
  • The Scottish Government’s approach to inclusive economic growth, following calls from the Poverty and Inequality Commission for The Scottish Government to outline more clearly what economic growth is and to embed it more clearly into key Scottish Government programmes. 

Delivery of Scotland’s infrastructure priorities - collaboration, procurement and a Scottish National Infrastructure Company

Further sessions will look at the implementation of the ICS’s strategy including:

  • the role of City Region and Growth Deals,
  • options for improving the procurement process, and
  • the potential establishment of a Scottish National Infrastructure Company.

With the emphasis in Scotland’s City Region and Growth Deals on developing local infrastructure, attendees will discuss how best to ensure effective collaboration at a national and local level and between the key stakeholders to ensure joined up action.

The agenda looks at how to improve the infrastructure procurement process in Scotland, with reports of delays in 25 out of 55 key infrastructure projects, including schools, prisons and health centres.

Areas for discussion include:

  • ensuring that physical projects are completed on time and on budget,
  • what improvements in procurement will be necessary, and
  • what can be learnt from the existing delays and how these can be avoided in future.

Further sessions consider proposals for a Scottish National Infrastructure Company, including:

  • the role that it might play in infrastructure delivery,
  • what form it would take, and
  • the nature of its remit, following the SNP announcing plans to look at replacing privately financed schemes with a state-run infrastructure agency last year.

Delegates will also assess the future of Public-Private Partnerships and the potential for an entirely public alternative.

Keynote Speakers

Ian Russell

Chair, Infrastructure Commission for Scotland

Peter Reekie

Chief Executive, Scottish Futures Trust

Keynote Speakers

Ian Russell

Chair, Infrastructure Commission for Scotland

Peter Reekie

Chief Executive, Scottish Futures Trust


Paul White

Director, CPT Scotland

Fionna Kell

Director of Policy, Homes for Scotland

Senior speaker confirmed from the Poverty and Inequality Commission