The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne yesterday unveiled a new ‘guarantees’ scheme aimed at accelerating investment in major infrastructure projects in the transport, utilities, energy and communications sectors.
UK Guarantees is now open for applications from ‘nationally significant’ infrastructure projects that have stalled because of adverse credit conditions.
The government estimates that some £40 billion worth of projects are ready or nearly ready to qualify for the scheme and the first guarantees could be made as soon as the autumn.
For a guarantee to be given under the scheme, a project must be ready to start work within 12 months.
In addition, a temporary lending part of the scheme should be able to help some 30 public private partnership infrastructure projects worth an estimated £6 billion go ahead in the next 12 months.
Later on this year, the scheme will also offer a £5 billion export refinancing facility to help exporters guarantee that they have the necessary long-term funding to attract buyers.
“UK Guarantees will use [the country’s] hard-won fiscal credibility to provide public guarantees of up to £50 billion of private investment in infrastructure and exports,” commented Osborne yesterday. “The will help work get started on many important infrastructure projects and help our major exporters, providing lasting benefits for thousands of people and a significant boost to the economy.”
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19 July 2012