Spending Review: Infrastructure gets pride of place

By Dominic Browne | 25 November 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak used the Spending Review to launch a new strategy for UK infrastructure, supported by a new bank and 'levelling up' fund.

The Government's comprehensive national infrastructure strategy, released today, will be supported by £27bn of public funding next year, with the Spending Review 'delivering £100bn total investment in 2021/22 to support the recovery'.

Government officials said the strategy was based around three central objectives: economic recovery, levelling up and unleashing the potential of the Union, and meeting the UK’s net zero emissions target by 2050.

Mr Sunak revealed that the new infrastructure bank would be headquartered in the north of England and would work with the private sector to finance major new investment projects across the UK, starting this spring.

He also announced a new levelling up fund, worth £4bn in England.

The bank will prioritise bids to drive growth and regeneration in places in need, those facing particular challenges and areas that have received less government investment in recent years.

Mr Sunak said: 'Projects must have real impact, must be delivered in this Parliament and they must command local support including from their member of parliament.

'This is about funding the infrastructure of everyday life, a new bypass, upgraded railway stations, less traffic, new libraries, museums and galleries, better high streets.'

The Spending Review also confirmed multi-year funding certainty for existing projects such as school and hospital rebuilding, and flagship transport schemes.

Treasury officials said they were targeting 'additional investment in areas which will improve the UK’s competitiveness in the long-term, backing new investments in cutting-edge research and clean energy sources of the future'.

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