Sir John Armitt reappointed as NIC chair

Sir John Armitt reappointed chair as NIC prepares to set out 30-year vision of UK’s infrastructure needs.

Sir John Armitt has been reappointed as chair of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC), as the organisation is preparing to set out a strategic 30-year vision for the UK’s infrastructure needs.

With the organisation preparing to publish its second National Infrastructure Assessment in the autumn, Armitt has been retained in the role, while Julia Prescot has been appointed deputy chair.

Armitt has served as the chair of the NIC since 2018, prior to which he was deputy chair. He has also been a commissioner since the NIC was established in 2015.

The appointments were made by chancellor of the exchequer Jeremy Hunt, who recognised Sir John’s “extensive engineering and major project delivery expertise”.

Armitt described his position at the NIC as a “great privilege” as well as a “serious responsibility” offering impartial, expert advice to government on the role of infrastructure in helping solve some of the UK’s biggest economic and environmental challenges.

He added: “I welcome Julia’s appointment as deputy chair which will assist our preparations for the next National Infrastructure Assessment in particular.

“Together, we and our fellow commissioners look forward to presenting the assessment to ministers and working with them, alongside others in the public and private sectors, to ensure our infrastructure is ready to face the future.”

With a background in engineering, Armitt’s expertise in infrastructure and delivering large scale projects has seen him working in key positions within the UK.

These have included chief executive of Network Rail and president of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

Armitt also played a key role in coordinating the 2012 London Olympics, as chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority.

He was awarded a CBE in 1996 for his contribution to the rail industry and a knighthood in 2012 for his work in engineering and construction.

Julia Prescot has served as a commissioner of the NIC since 2017. She is a co-founder and chief strategy officer of Meridiam, a leading global investor and asset manager specialising in public infrastructure.

She has also been involved in long-term infrastructure development and investment in the UK, Europe, North America and Africa.

Prescot is an Honorary Professor at the Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, University College London. She also serves as deputy chair of the Port of Tyne.

The NIC’s next National Infrastructure Assessment will analyse the UK’s long term economic infrastructure needs, outlining a strategic vision over the next thirty years, and setting out recommendations for the government on how identified needs should be met.

Sir John’s new appointment period will end in January 2025 and Julia Prescot’s term as deputy chair will end in April 2027.

In addition to these appointments, the chancellor intends to launch a competition to appoint a new commissioner to the NIC as a successor to Bridget Rosewell, who stood down earlier this month following her appointment as a non-executive director of the UK Infrastructure Bank.

If you would like to contact Rob O’Connor about this, or any other story, please email