Infrastructure construction
1 October 2021 | Environment, News

Sustainable Economic Recovery and Infrastructure Growth

The COVID-19 pandemic has led individuals and companies to re-think their choices.  For individuals, this may be to find a new hobby, spend less time commuting and more time working from home, and for companies, which may have taken advantage of the various stimulus initiatives, this could be to use stimulus support to invest in sustainable recovery plans.  Infrastructure-led recovery has become a key talking point over the last few months.

The Sustainable Development Goals address short and medium/long term impact projects.  Short term projects will require immediate funding and spending, and will protect existing jobs while also creating new opportunities.  These short term projects are focussed on initiating programmes that are ready now, and speeding-up repair and maintenance projects.  Smaller sustainable projects are to be prioritised over large ones that are difficult and time-expensive to deliver.

Longer term stimulus programmes first require that time is taken to pause and reflect on plans in order to review what infrastructure investment would best serve to rebuild the economy in a sustainable manner.  These projects are hoped to provide access to jobs in sectors that are needed for longer term economic growth, and to improve social outcomes in health and education facilities.

Money allocated to these projects will need to be spent quickly to improve economic output, but this must be done in concert with preparing long term sustainability plans.  Infrastructure projects are generally good for improving a region’s economic standing, but such projects are often held up by complex planning, procurement, and finance processes.

Moving forward investment in infrastructure should align with climate change mitigation and environmental projects, accelerating investment in renewable energy projects, for example.  The overall success of the “work from anywhere” society that developed through most of 2020, government could move focus away from retrofitting in expensive larger cities, and instead build infrastructure that supports this new and flexible work environment in smaller cities.

Of course, any infrastructure development is going to require large amounts of funding, so paying for such works will require inputs from multiple sources.  Rationalisation and optimisation of projects that are already on the table are two methods of reducing the total budget required, and cutting or delaying programmes that are no longer required or feasible are others.

Collaboration between public and private sectors is essential in the efficient delivery of both short and medium/long term infrastructure projects.  To discuss how working with Aughton Ainsworth can ease to process of working on public/private sector collaborative projects, please contact Andy Williamson ( or John McMuldroch (

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