Leeds City Council and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership have welcomed the news that Leeds will be the home of the country’s first-ever Infrastructure Bank.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, used his Budget speech to announce that the city has been chosen as the location for the bank, which will invest in public and private projects across the UK. It will aim to drive the Government’s plans for a ‘green industrial revolution’ while also supporting local and regional economic growth.
Councillor James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“The news that Leeds will be the home of the new national infrastructure bank is a vote of confidence in the city and everyone who lives here.
“This move will give Leeds a central role in decisions that will shape the country’s future and its potentially transformative power should not be underestimated – particularly when working in tandem with the new Treasury North campus planned for Darlington.
“I am also determined to ensure that local people reap the benefits that it should bring in terms of job creation.
“As a council, we care deeply about climate change and the environment, so it is particularly exciting that our city will be at the heart of projects designed to drive forward what is sometimes described as the green industrial revolution.
“We have spent years telling people that Leeds is the place to be and it is really gratifying that our voices have now been heard.”
Roger Marsh OBE DL, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and NP11 group of Northern local enterprise partnerships 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.
“The UK Infrastructure Bank will play a crucial role in supporting the Government to achieve its pledge to level-up the UK, reach net-zero carbon by 2050 and accelerate COVID-19 recovery.
“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.”
The UK Infrastructure Bank will have an initial capitalisation of £12bn and is expected to support at least £40bn of investment in infrastructure projects. It will begin operating this spring in an interim form before ramping up its activities over the following months, with a primary focus on sectors including clean energy, transport and digital.
The Bank will have a broad mandate to offer support across different sectors. It will make a case-by-case assessment of the merits of an individual project. Its primary focus will be on the economic infrastructure sectors covered in the National Infrastructure Strategy, including clean energy, transport, digital, water and waste. In addition, it will be able to lend to university projects that generate a return to support regional and local growth. The Bank will also play an important role in supporting and developing early-stage technologies.