London urged to ‘get creative’ with private infrastructure investment


Construction in London could be sped up under a US-style investment model that shares investment risk between public and private partners, a report claims.

The Greater London Authority (GLA) Conservative Group has said the capital now needs to ‘get creative’ on finding cash for buildings and roads and use ‘private pockets’ to plug the £130bn infrastructure funding gap.

It says a US-style infrastructure trust could see large private investors part-funding projects and receiving a return on their cash through shared savings or revenue streams.

The public sector would still need to contribute towards, own and operate the schemes, according to the Burrowing for Success report.

GLA Conservatives said the system could see a project such as the congestion-easing £750m Silvertown Tunnel introduced with greater returns for Transport for London and private investors.

Report author and GLA Conservative budget spokesman, Gareth Bacon, said: ‘We need to keep building roads, power supplies and buildings, and get creative when it comes to finding the cash for these projects.

‘Take the Silvertown Tunnel, which we so badly need to ease Congestion in the East of London; TfL is limited on what it can borrow by the Treasury, and with demands from Crossrail eating up its commitments, we need to find other ways to attract the investment. Under a US-style infrastructure trust, return for private investors would be 10%, far higher than government gilts. This type of package would be snapped up by pension funds and the city.’

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