Chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has announced the creation of a new infrastructure forum which will give business leaders a direct line to government and boost the trades.

Speaking at the Liberal Democrat Conference yesterday, Mr Alexander said the National Infrastructure Plan Strategic Engagement Forum (NIPSEF) will bring government and industry together to help deliver the UK’s infrastructure needs.

NIPSEF is expected to be launched this autumn. It will bring together government and key trade bodies which will work with CITBConstructionSkills, the sector skills council for the industry.

The infrastructure alliance will include the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, the  Civil Engineering Contractors Association, the Construction Products Association and the Institution of Civil Engineers.

It will be co-chaired by Mr Alexander and the chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, Nelson Ogunshakin.

Mr Ogunshakin said: “The National Infrastructure Plan is the government’s most important strategic programme to deliver infrastructure, the core driver to UK economic growth.

“Delivering such an ambitious programme of infrastructure expansion on this scale means bringing government and industry together to successfully achieve this goal.

“This new National Infrastructure Plan Strategic Engagement Forum will place the expertise of industry at the heart of government to make that happen.”