Chancellor Rishi Sunak will today open the UK Infrastructure Bank in Leeds, as the government seeks to deliver on climate ambitions while boosting jobs and growth.
It will invest billions across clean energy and transport, with digital, water and waste also key pillars, and is seen as being at the heart of efforts to level up UK regions.
First announced by Mr Sunak as part of his Spending Review, it will help to finance important projects in every region.
He said: “Opening its doors today, the UK Infrastructure Bank will accelerate our ambitions for tackling climate change and levelling up, while creating new opportunities across the UK as part of our Plan for Jobs.
“Through the Bank, we are investing billions of pounds in world class infrastructure that will support people, businesses and communities in every corner of the UK.”
An initial capital of £12 billion will be there to deploy, with the ability to issue £10 billion of government guarantees, helping to unlock more than £40 billion of overall investment.
It will work in partnership with local government and the private sector, and will harness investment tailored to the needs of specific infrastructure projects, offering a range of financing tools including debt, equity, and guarantees.
Mr Sunak is to host a roundtable with local business leaders, alongside the bank’s chair, Chris Grigg to mark the launch.
The former Barclays CEO served as chief executive of British Land for more than a decade before joining the Treasury as a senior advisor behind the creation.
Mr Grigg, said: “The new UK Infrastructure Bank is open for business. I am delighted to be leading this institution, which will be a catalyst for investment to support regional economic growth and net zero ambitions.
“I look forward to building strong partnerships with project sponsors, institutions and local leaders.”
It comes as the Yorkshire and Humber region looks to lead the race to Net Zero, with the latter seeking to make a pioneering leap from the largest polluting cluster to a decarbonisation pioneer, drawing on offshore wind deployment, hydrogen production and carbon capture and storage.
Sir Roger Marsh OBE, chair Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership and the Northern Powerhouse collaboration NP11, said: “Locating this powerful national institution in our region will be a real catalyst for change and a major driver of our post-pandemic recovery. It will build on our long-term commitment to ensuring that the benefits of economic growth are felt by all of our communities.
“This landmark decision is testament to the strength of our financial and professional services sector and will ensure a strong and successful long-term economic outlook for the city region, the North and the UK. It will act as a catalyst to inspire economic growth and business confidence at a time when it is needed most and it is pleasing that it will be operating from Leeds.
“The move also signifies a new page in the relationship between the government and cities and regions across the North, where we work in partnership to unlock economic potential and deliver on the ambitions for levelling up all parts of the country.”