Presidential Roundtable summary: UK Infrastructure Bank

A summary of the key points raised at an online roundtable chaired by ICE’s President featuring the chair of the UK Infrastructure Bank and deputy CEO of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority.

This roundtable, chaired by ICE’s President Rachel Skinner, was an in-conversation session with:

  • Chris Grigg, chair of the new UK Infrastructure Bank and

  • Matthew Vickerstaff, deputy CEO and head of government's project finance profession at the Infrastructure and Project Authority (IPA)

To discuss the question: what should the scope and priorities be of the new UK Infrastructure Bank?

Commenting on why this roundtable was important, Rachel Skinner said:

"With £12 billion of initial capital and £10 billion in government guarantees over the next five years, the new UK Infrastructure Bank will prioritise support for levelling-up and achieving net zero. 

"To be as successful as possible, the approaches it takes need to be radical and creative, as the problems that hold back parts of the country from realising their economic potential are deep-rooted and diverse. To be able to do so, it needs to be given the mandate to trial, test and fund specific ideas from local and regional leaders.

“As the government develops the scope of the Bank, the key priority should be on defining clear and measurable outcomes to be achieved through its investment and support. Keeping the flow of public and private investment going is vital to deliver on the strategic objectives and desired outcomes outlined in the National Infrastructure Strategy.”

Background

At the March Budget, the chancellor published the mandate and design of the new UK Infrastructure Bank with the aim of financing a “green industrial revolution”.

Based in Leeds, it has been confirmed that the bank will extend loans, equity financing and guarantees to fund infrastructure projects that support net zero and levelling-up.

What is not yet clear, however, is the scope and priorities of the new bank, and this roundtable offered leaders from across the infrastructure, finance and business sectors the chance to explore this in more depth with the new chair.

This event was held under Chatham House rules.

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