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Treasury guarantee scheme to ‘unlock’ 230 projects

The Treasury is estimating that more than 230 projects could be ‘unlocked’ through its UK Guarantees scheme in the next three years

The response has come after concerns were raised that only a handful of projects would be eligible under the conditions of the guarantee, reported sister title Construction News.

Chancellor George Osborne announced that the government would use its balance sheet to guarantee up to £40 billion worth of projects from the 500 schemes in the National Infrastructure Plan yesterday.

However research by law firm Freshfields showed that only 11 projects, collectively worth £413m, are ‘shovel ready’, in the next six to 30 months but that it was ‘anyone’s guess’ how many of the 212 National Infrastructure Plan projects [‘in tender’] worth in the region of £42bn will be fast tracked.

But the government said that the guarantee awards will run into 2015 and the 12-month condition only applies once the guarantee is awarded. The aim behind it is to attach more urgency to getting projects moving, they said.

Chief executives from leading contractors Carillion and Costain both welcomed the announcements from government.

A Treasury Spokesperson told Construction News said: ‘Our estimate is that over 230 projects, worth around £40bn, are due to start before 2015 and could be eligible for guarantees.’

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