Wales plans £15bn infrastructure spend
However, with real terms capital funding for Wales halving between 2009/10 and 2014/15, the government is looking to encourage more private money to support its infrastructure plans.
“We are a government committed to the provision of infrastructure and the creation of jobs,” said First Minister Carwyn Jones. “We want to take every opportunity to increase capital investment, despite the severe cuts in our budget.”
The plan outlined seven high-level priorities, including improving Wales’s transport network, investing in housing and improving the quality of the education estate.
The Welsh government has allocated £6m to expand its Welsh Housing Partnerships scheme, which it claims will lever in £30m of investment into the housing sector. It will build on the Welsh Housing Bond, which has been used to increase supply of affordable homes.
On the roads, £2.7m will be invested in improvements to M4 junctions in south Wales.
However, the plan stated that the Welsh government’s view is that “primarily, public infrastructure investment should be funded through direct government capital expenditure”.
Nonetheless, the document said cuts in Welsh government funding and the tough economic climate mean it is “considering the full range of potential funding partners – both public and private” to deliver its plans above and beyond its own capital limits.
“The Welsh Government is actively exploring the development of new, innovative mechanisms to attract private investment into public infrastructure in the coming years,” the publication said.
“This includes development of ‘non-dividend’ vehicles to finance and deliver public infrastructure projects in Wales.”