In the Budget this week, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak provided further details about the UK Infrastructure Bank tasked with bringing "world-class infrastructure" to the UK.
The bank will have £12bn of equity and debt capital to finance both local authority and private sector infrastructure projects and will also be able to issue up to £10bn of guarantees.
Tasked with channelling billions of pounds into big infrastructure projects and to help tackle climate change, the new institution will offer a wide range of financing tools to support private infrastructure projects and offer loans to local authorities at a rate of gilts plus 60 basis points for their strategic infrastructure projects. It will play an important part in helping the UK reach its net-zero carbon targets by investing in sectors such as renewable energy, carbon capture, storage and transportation.
Whilst it's primary focus will be on the economic infrastructure sectors covered in the National Infrastructure Strategy (including clean energy, transport, digital, water and waste) the Bank will also be able to play a role in supporting and developing early-stage technologies.
If the UK National Infrastructure Bank is to succeed, funds will need to be provided quickly and appropriately to infrastructure projects. I hope that it can drive real change and growth in the infrastructure industry as a whole, but also that it is willing to provide appropriate levels of funding to innovative new infrastructure technologies that may result in potentially transformative construction methods and projects.
The hope is the Leeds-based institution will support at least £40bn of both private and public sector infrastructure projects across the UK.