Billions of funding for UK businesses available from today
At least £22bn in funding for infrastructure projects will be available to businesses from today as the government officially launches its new UK infrastructure bank.
The opening is being marked by a visit from chancellor Rishi Sunak to the bank’s new headquarters in Leeds where he will meet with its chair, former British Land chief executive Chris Grigg.
Sunak will also host a roundtable with local infrastructure and business leaders.
The Treasury said the bank will be tasked with accelerating investment into infrastructure projects across the UK in sectors including transport, clean energy, digital, water and waste.
It will have an initial capital of £12bn – consisting of £5bn of equity and £7bn of debt – along with the ability to issue £10bn of government guarantees.
Loans, equity or guarantees will be available for private projects from today, with lending to local authorities due to start later in the summer.
Sunak said the new body will “accelerate our ambitions for tackling climate change and levelling up, while creating new opportunities across the UK as part of our Plan for Jobs”.
Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said the decision to base the bank in Leeds “signifies a new page in the relationship between the government and cities and regions across the North”.
He added that the bank will “act as a catalyst to inspire economic growth and business confidence at a time when it is needed most”.
The bank forms a key part of the government’s National Infrastructure Strategy, a document published in November last year which sets out plans for building major projects and upgrading the UK’s infrastructure.