Sunak plans new investment bank for UK infra projects

Rishi Sunak plans new investment bank for UK infrastructure projects

The new UK investment bank is intended in part to replace the functions of the European Investment Bank

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. Credit: Reuters Photo

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to unveil a new National Infrastructure Strategy next week for an estimated 100-billion pounds worth of long-term investment, including a new bank to leverage private sector capital for such projects, media reports said on Saturday.

The Indian-origin finance minister, who is leading the country’s economic fightback against the coronavirus pandemic, will publish the strategy to help tackle the climate crisis and invest in transport on Wednesday, when he will also outline a Spending Review.

The UK Treasury has said that the infrastructure strategy would contain a down payment on flagship programmes including fibre broadband, flood defences and transport schemes.

"We are absolutely committed to levelling-up opportunities so those living in all corners of the UK get their fair share of our future prosperity,” said Sunak.

“All nations and regions of the UK have benefited from our unprecedented 200 billion pounds Covid support package. And after a difficult year for this country, this Spending Review will help us build back better by investing over 600 billion pounds across the UK during the next five years,” he said.

The Spending Review will also see the launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, under which money previously allocated to poorer regions by the European Union (EU) will now be spent by the UK government.

Sunak has also confirmed that the Treasury will move some staff to a new base in the north of England next year, as part of a shift of 22,000 civil servant roles out of London and the south east of England.

The location of the new headquarters, or so-called economic campus, will be announced "in the coming weeks".

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