UK National Infrastructure Projects

There are four main categories of infrastructure projects from the UK Government: They are transformation and service delivery (transformation), information and communication technology (ICT), military capability, and infrastructure and construction.

Number of projects 143
Cost of total projects £455.5bn
2016-17 budget £24.6bn

Government transformation and service delivery – 40 projects worth £71.1bn
ICT – 39 projects worth £18.6bn
Infrastructure and construction – 37 projects worth £222.5bn
Military – 27 projects worth £143.3bn


With 40 projects, transformation remains the largest single category in the portfolio, despite a net reduction of 13 in the year. Transformation continues to be an area of high priority for government as we strive to deliver government services more efficiently and to improve the way government interacts with its citizens.

ICT represents the second largest group with 39 projects, though these have the lowest total whole-life cost. ICT projects enable cost savings through the restructuring of legacy IT contracts and the development of new, flexible and more effective systems.

Infrastructure and construction represents the largest growth area, with nine new projects joining, including five Network Rail projects following the reclassification of Network Rail as a central government body. It is also the largest category in terms of whole-life cost, with a current value of over £222.5 billion. This is consistent with levels of investment in the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline, and government investment in UK economic infrastructure.

Military capability continues to be the smallest category by number, with 27 projects, but as with last year, it remains the second highest in terms of whole-life cost. This reflects the complexity and scale of individual military projects, and the continuing investment in maintaining UK national security. 


ICT – Home Office Biometrics Programme
The Biometrics Programme will establish a single, integrated real-time biometrics service that will help protect our borders and communities.

Infrastructure and construction – Highways England A14 road scheme
The A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon scheme is a strategic east-west road link that will relieve traffic congestion in the area, connect communities and unlock local economic growth.

Military capability – MOD Airseeker project
The Airseeker project will change the Boeing KC-135 aircraft into a new surveillance aircraft, which will enable the military to gather more data from the air in order to support troops on the ground.

DWP Fraud, Error and Debt Programme
The Fraud, Error and Debt Programme supports the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and wider government strategy to reduce the levels of fraud, error and debt across the benefit and tax credit systems.

Transformation projects are often the most complex and challenging projects to deliver in government due to the large range and scale of change required.

Major transformation projects are typically delivered over multiple phases, require new operating models, new and innovative ways of working, and cultural and organisational change. They also change the way services are delivered to citizens and businesses.

There is a wide variety in the types of transformation project being delivered. One example is the Courts and Tribunal Reform Project, which will improve the efficiency of the justice system and enable citizens to use digital court services. Another very different transformation example is the Ministry of Defence’s Future Accommodation Model Project, which will change how the department’s estate and workforce are managed.

In response to the challenges, and to improve how government delivers transformation projects, the Transformation Peer Group (TPG) was established in 2016. The TPG is an advisory group that brings together the combined expertise of the delivery departments with the IPA and the Government Digital Service (GDS), to help government improve how it identifies, defines and delivers transformation.

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