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Nick Smallwood unveiled as government infrastructure chief

Nick Smallwood, chief executive, Infrastructure and Projects Authority.

Nick Smallwood has been appointed as chief executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) and head of the project delivery function.

Smallwood, the former vice president for projects engineering and chief projects engineer at Shell, will become IPA chief executive in August, and will be responsible for leading the delivery of major government projects.

He joins the IPA with 37 years’ experience of managing complex project portfolios and having developed Shell’s global project academy, where he was accountable for managing how projects were delivered and a variety of significant improvement programmes.

Smallwood is also a trustee of the board of the Association for Project Management (APM) until November 2019, where he contributes to the overall development of the UK’s project management profession. His appointment follows the departure of Tony Meggs in December 2018, who became chairman of Crossrail to help the project complete its final delivery phase.

The IPA is the government’s centre of expertise for infrastructure and major projects, reporting jointly to the chancellor of the exchequer and the minister for the Cabinet Office. It oversees the government’s major projects portfolio, which contains around 150 of the government’s biggest and most complex projects, and the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline, which contains projections of £600bn of public and private infrastructure investment.

Oliver Dowden, minister for implementation at the Cabinet Office, said: “I am pleased to welcome Nick to the Cabinet Office and am looking forward to working with him in delivering some of the government’s top policy priorities.”

John Manzoni, chief executive of the Civil Service and Cabinet Office permanent secretary, said: “The IPA is home to one of government’s most important cross-cutting functions. If government’s projects aren’t delivered successfully, then our policy agenda can’t be implemented. I’m thrilled that Nick will lead the IPA. Now more than ever we need experienced project leaders in government, putting deliverability at the heart of government policy.”

Charles Roxburgh, second permanent secretary at the Treasury, said: “We are growing our economy by investing in the infrastructure and capital projects the country needs. Nick is joining the IPA at a critical moment, as it helps ensure our investment is delivered on time and on budget and represents value for money for taxpayers.”

Nick Smallwood, IPA chief executive, said “Government is delivering an ambitious portfolio of major projects that will transform people’s lives and the IPA has already made significant strides in building a world class regime that supports them. I want to focus on improving performance and taking our system to the next level.”