English Partnerships is mooting a regional investment bank to kickstart infrastructure projects across the South-east's growth areas.

A team led by John Walker, EP's North-east director, is examining the establishment of a "common fund" that delivery agencies across the growth areas could draw on to pay for infrastructure projects, like roads and healthcare facilities.

The fund would eventually be paid for through the infrastructure tariffs that a number of agencies are planning to establish along the lines of the Milton Keynes "roof tax". The regeneration body has agreed to pay for the upfront costs of infrastructure in Milton Keynes before the tariff revenues start rolling in. But it has said it is too cash-strapped to play a similar role across the other growth areas.

An EP spokesperson said the upfront money for the common fund would be likely to come from a mix of private and government sources.

She added that the common fund was one of a number of models for generating private finance that the team was examining, including the Blueprint investment vehicle, which is backed by the East Midland Development Agency's property assets.

Consultant John Walker, who helped draw up the Milton Keynes roof tax said the common fund could be backed by a mixture of tariff revenues and assets.

Greg Lomax, chief executive of the Aylesbury Advantage delivery agency, said the fund needed financial backing from a public agency like EP or the South East England Development Agency.