The mayor of London has joined forces with utility companies to deliver infrastructure works worth up to £1.5bn to enable the capital’s social and economic recovery
Sadiq Khan announced a package of infrastructure works worth up to £1.5bn to help kick-start London’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.
The London Recovery Board – led by Khan and councillor Peter John, the chair of London Councils – met to discuss long-term measures to enable London’s social and economic recovery post-Covid, including a plan to join forces with utility companies on the mayor’s London Infrastructure Group.
The partnership will progress projects to support the green recovery and jobs, helping to counteract Covid-19’s damaging impact on the economy.
- Upgrading the gas network to improve the security of London’s gas supplies.
- Reducing water leakage by 20% and pollution incidents by 30% by 2025.
- Progressing plans to increase the resilience of the water supply network serving boroughs in north east London; the City and Canary Wharf.
- Ensuring the electricity infrastructure is in place to support electric vehicles, using innovative planning tools to identify the best charger locations and timings.
Companies including Cadent, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), SGN, UK Power Networks and Thames Water are working with City Hall and London’s local authorities to also identify new green schemes.
The companies will also accelerate future investment, by providing new jobs that meet the mayor’s aim for London to be a fairer, more equal, greener and resilient city post-Covid.
Some projects may require additional regulatory approval to ensure value for money and affordability, and the board has stated its commitment to working with utilities, the government and regulators to progress the case for additional investments that will boost London’s economy.
In addition, the board has committed to support utility companies in identifying employment opportunities, especially for young people and Londoners from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds who have been disproportionately affected by the crisis.
Once the specific infrastructure works projects have been identified and agreed, they will be delivered with the support of the mayor’s Infrastructure Coordination Service.
‘Stimulate our economy’
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been devastating for our economy and we face a long road ahead, but the London Recovery Board has made great progress in working with companies to deliver infrastructure projects that will help to stimulate our economy, create green jobs and support Londoners who have been affected the most by the economic crisis.
“It is essential that infrastructure initiatives are utilised to serve all Londoners as we work to recover from this pandemic and to build back better with a fairer and greener economy.
“By working together with the major utility companies to progress and bring forward these projects, we have a valuable opportunity to improve the diversity of the sector and to help create new jobs for those who have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19.
“This will help us to ensure nobody is left behind in London’s recovery.
“I am really pleased to work with the utility companies to support the city now and in the weeks ahead at the same time as reaching out to all Londoners to hear their long-term aspirations for the capital.”
Councillor Peter John, chair of London Councils, commented: “Collaboration is at the heart of London’s work to overcome the terrible impact of Covid-19 and rebuild a stronger, more equal and sustainable economy in the months and years ahead.
“London boroughs are committed to bringing their powers, relationships and local knowledge to the table to ensure London’s recovery delivers jobs, infrastructure and inclusive growth for communities across the capital.”
Mark Adolphus, director of connections at UK Power Networks, said: “As the company which delivers electricity to 2.3 million properties to keep the capital running smoothly, we are a leading architect of the low-carbon economy and know our role is particularly vital now in enabling the UK’s economic recovery.
“We look forward to continuing diverse investment and innovation projects that will help businesses to thrive, and people to make the most of emerging technologies both now, and in the future.
“Safety remains our top priority and all work will be carried out in line with the latest Covid-19 health and safety guidance.”
Ian Marchant, interim executive chairman at Thames Water, added: “As we embark on an ambitious programme to invest £1bn over the next two years to improve the water and wastewater services Londoners rely on, it is a real boost to have the backing of the London Recovery Board.
“It is also great news for the economy, because delivering our plans will support our diverse workforce and supply chain, which we’ve continued to grow during the pandemic, recruiting more than 250 staff since March.”