UK ‘needs to be more attractive’ for private finance

The UK needs to become a more attractive place for private investors if the recommendations of National Infrastructure Assessment (NIA) are to be achieved, the Global Infrastructure Investors Association (GIIA) has said.

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“The commission highlights that the private sector will need to provide more than half the investment needed over the next 20 years,” said GIIA chief executive Jon Phillips. “Yet for global infrastructure investors, the attractiveness of the UK as a destination for private capital has fallen since last year to an all-time low.”

The NIA said that an extra £10bn of private finance will be required during the 2030s and 2040s compared to today - but the infrastructure market is concerned that investors will simply not want to invest unless they see changes to the UK approach.

James Corrigan, UK managing director of infrastructure at Turner & Townsend, said: “A call for long-term certainty from government on infrastructure programmes sits at the heart of this report.  However, the reality is that the industry is bracing itself for a year of political push and pull as we head towards a general election.”

“Infrastructure investors want a clear and stable policy environment, pro-investment regulation and speedier planning decisions,” the GIIA’s Phillips continued. 

“It is essential that the next government places a much higher priority on making the UK a more attractive destination for investment, to attract the hundreds of billions of pounds that are available in what is a highly competitive international market.”