National Infrastructure Strategy to be powered by bank to support ‘levelling up’ across the UK

Economic recovery, meeting the net zero target for 2050 and levellling up and ‘unleashing’ the potential of the Union are all at the heart of the government’s national infrastucture strategy.

This undeprins the delivering of £100 billion investment in 2021/22 to support the recovery, announced in yesterdays Spending Review.

For the first time, there will be a new infrastructure bank to help deliver investment into capital projects as part of the UK government’s “levelling-up’ agenda. There will also be a set of reforms to the way infrastructure is delivered.

Chanecllor Rishi Sunak said the bank will have the remit to providing funding for projects to help deliver the UK’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050 and will co-invest alongside private sectror money via a mix of loans and gurantee as well as taking equity stakes in projects. The back will be based in the North of England.

The bank will also be able to lend to local and mayoral authorities for key infrastructure projects, and provide them with advice on developing and financing infrastructure.

The government said local areas would need to prioirtise funding based on the need to drive ‘growth and regeneration’ in places in need, in areas that have received less funding before or those facing particular challenges.

Local areas will be able to bid for up to £20m from the fund.

Mr Sunak said: “Projects must have real impact, must be delivered in this parliament and they must command local support including from their member of parliament. This is about funding the infrastructure of everyday life, a new bypass, upgraded railway stations, less traffic, new libraries, museums and galleries, better high streets.”

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