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The UK Infrastructure Bank Bill, announced as part of the measures in the Queen’s speech, represents the final step in setting up the UK Infrastructure Bank as an operationally independent institution. The new Bank officially opened for business in June 2021 but the Bill will remove legal obstacles so the Bank can lend directly to local authorities and the Northern Ireland Executive for infrastructure projects.
The Bank, headquartered in Leeds, is tasked with accelerating investment into ambitious infrastructure projects, cutting emissions and levelling up every part of the UK. The establishment of the Bank is expected to result in a long-lasting public institution helping to drive growth across the UK.
Since its launch, the Bank has completed five deals, including financing the UK’s largest solar farm in South Wales, investing £100 million to provide high-capacity broadband to around 500,000 properties in hard-to-reach UK premises and a further £50 million to improve digital connectivity for rural homes and businesses across Northern Ireland.
The bank started with an initial financial capacity of £22bn made up of £12bn in capital and £10bn in government guarantees. This is expected to unlock more than £40 billion of overall investment in local government lending and to the private sector.