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Pre-budget report: new infrastructure body unveiled

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Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling has announced the creation of Infrastructure UK (IUK) to advise the Government on its national infrastructure programmes over the next 50 years

Announced in today’s Pre-Budget Report (9 December), IUK will bring together a number of policy, financing and delivery bodies bringing together The Infrastructure Finance Unit, HM Treasury’s policy team and Partnerships UK’s major project delivery team.

Among the IUK’s first tasks will be to look at proposals for a new high speed rail line in the UK and how it could be funded. The body is also charged with overseeing the investment in low-carbon projects, including investing €100 million in a European Investment Bank-led funds, to deploy up to €1.5 billion of equity and €5 billion of debt in low-carbon infrastructure

IUK, which comes into existence with immediate effect, will be chaired by Paul Skinner the ex-chairman of Rio Tinto and former managing director of Royal Dutch Shell.

Anna Scott-Marshall, head of public affairs at the RIBA said: ‘The announcements for the new body Infrastructure UK to co-ordinate and deliver nationally significant infrastructure is a welcome step to improving the delivery of major infrastructure.’

The IUK’s main roles will be:

  • Develop a strategy for the UK’s infrastructure over the next five to 50 years which will be published in the Budget 2010 in April.
  • Identify and attract new sources of private sector investment in infrastructure.
  • Manage the Government’s investment in the 2020 European Fund for Energy, Climate Change and Infrastructure.
  • Support HM Treasury in prioritising the Government’s investment in infrastructure.
  • Actively support the delivery of major infrastructure projects and programmes and help build stronger infrastructure delivery capability across Government. IUK will immediately provide support to HM Treasury and Department for Energy and Climate Change on their work to report on how the electricity market framework can most effectively deliver the low-carbon investment needed in the long-term.
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