Deputy prime minister announced coalition’s commitment to infrastructure

Nick Clegg has outlined the coalition’s commitment to infrastructure in a speech at the LSE, promising “a gear shift in government to unblock the system and get the money out the door”.

The deputy prime minister said on Wednesday that the government will focus on “investments that transform growth potential”, citing transport, energy, and digital communications as key sectors.

Pledging to start “ramping up our sales pitch” to get investment, Clegg said the government would prioritise 40 key projects including Crossrail and improvements to the M1 and M25 motorways.

He admitted that no further public funding would be forthcoming, but Building understands that money allocated to future years may be brought forward to fund projects on a case-by-case basis. 

“We’re targeting the Middle East, Latin America and China, where there are investors with five-year plans of over £150bn each,” he added. “We’ll be more proactive with institutional investors at home too.”

The Regional Growth Fund, chaired by Michael Heseltine, has been ordered to prioritise infrastructure when reviewing bids for its second round of funding.

Local communities could also get more control over their long-term infrastructure investment.

The government is also drawing up plans that would let councils borrow against future growth from locally raised business rates.