A shiny plaque is still being glued to the wall and wiped clean in the lobby of a Leeds office as the finishing touches are put in place ahead of a visit from Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor. It’s day one of the new UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) and Chris Grigg, its chairman, is well aware of the symbolic importance of taking big investment decisions here in the Yorkshire city rather than 170 miles south in London. The government-backed bank will be able to deploy an initial £12bn for investments in equity and debt, and a further £10bn in government guarantees to persuade private investors to take the plunge. UKIB expects to take the total investment amount it can unlock to £40bn by tapping the private sector and working with local councils, targeting projects in clean energy, transport, digital, water and waste. It will help to make up for funding lost from the European Investment Bank after Brexit and is part of efforts to boost overall public investment to £600bn over the next five years, the highest level as a share of GDP since the 1970s.
Telegraph 20th June 2021 read more »