London ‘requires new financing solutions’

London Mayor Sadiq Khan believes new infrastructure funding and financing solutions are needed as capital's economic strategy is to be unveiled.

In the December 2018 draft of the Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy (EDS), Khan states that there are opportunities to reduce economic costs and to be more innovative in the way infrastructure is designed and delivered through better use of data, by sharing best practice and encouraging collaboration among infrastructure providers.

Khan will help to improve the planning, coordination and delivery of infrastructure in London working in partnership with his Infrastructure High Level Group of industry leaders.

He adds: “There is a significant gap between the amount of funding London currently receives from central government for infrastructure and what is required if the capital grows at the scale and pace anticipated,” noting that utilities and broadband providers have to use funding generated from bills.

“However, there will still be a large shortfall in some areas which will require new funding and financing solutions.”

The EDS will be presented to the London Assembly on Thursday, when members will vote on the strategy after a debate. 

A statement from the assembly released this morning noted a “general lack of specific, measurable actions” when the Mayor set out the objectives in his original draft EDS for consultation. 

The findings of that consultation have been published alongside the new draft, and an ‘implementation plan’.

Among the questions in the consultation was what other funding options should be explored to invest in new infrastructure assets. The suggestions included “explore platforms to channel private sector investment into infrastructure”.

The implementation plan states the mayor will explore options to establish an Infrastructure and Development Coordination Unit with the aim of it being operational in 2019, and set out the full costs and funding options for London’s long-term infrastructure requirements.