Government’s infrastructure body appoints three planners as ‘levelling up’ advisors

Written by: Ellie Kahn
Published on: 4 May 2021

Sarah Longlands

The government's advisory body on major infrastructure has appointed three town planners to an expert panel to help shape preparation of its second National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA).

The NIC produces an NIA every five years to set out a series of recommendations for government actions on improving major infrastructure.

Its first NIA was published in July 2018, which the NIC said "heavily influenced" the government’s first National Infrastructure Strategy published last November.

The NIC has announced that it has appointed advisory panels in three areas: levelling up, net zero, and climate resilience. The government’s levelling up agenda aims to improve the economic performance of English regions outside of London and the South East.

The NIC said the panels will offer expert advice, contribute new ideas, and challenge its thinking ahead of the publication of the second NIA in 2023.

The three planners who have been appointed to the levelling up panel are:

  • Sarah Longlands, director of think tank IPPR North (pictured)
  • Laura Shoaf, managing director of regional transport body Transport for the West Midlands
  • Cecilia Wong, professor of spatial planning at the University of Manchester