National Underground Asset Register project update

Our national infrastructure keeps the lights on, water flowing, internet connected and transport moving. All this needs to be done in a way that is well designed, and affordable for the government and the public.

There is huge potential for location data to improve the way that national infrastructure is planned, built and managed. Our initial analysis suggests that more accessible and better quality location data in infrastructure and construction could be worth over £4 billion per year.

The Geospatial Commission launched its National Underground Asset Register in 2019 with the aim to realise some of this value through better mapping underground assets. Every construction and infrastructure project has to source information on buried utility assets such as cables, pipes, sewers and ducts when preparing ground investigation and excavation work. Multiple different organisations have to be contacted with their data delivered in varied formats, scales, quality, and on different timelines.

This project update document celebrates NUAR’s successful twelve month pilot phase that ended in April 2020 and outlines our next steps, as well as celebrating NUAR’s shortlisting for a Digital Leaders cross sector digital collaboration award.

You are able to vote for NUAR until noon on 28 August 2020.

Thalia Baldwin, Director of the Geospatial Commission, said:

Our National Underground Asset Register pilots demonstrate the benefits of good geospatial data within the construction and infrastructure industries to improve safety and drive efficiencies. Accidental strikes on underground assets are estimated to cost the sector £1.2bn a year. It is the first time that the UK government has brought major utility companies and Local Authorities together to share data through a single data platform for safe digging and I am pleased our pilots have successfully proved the value of this approach.

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