The UK government’s Infrastructure and Projects Authority has set out a £650bn investment plan that will be made up of public and private money. The funds will be spent over the next decade.
The National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline plan, published on Monday, will support 425,000 jobs a year over the next four years.
“Such infrastructure is critical if the government is to achieve its long-term ambitions for people and businesses across the United Kingdom: ambitions to level up across the country, strengthen the Union, meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals and put the UK on the path to net zero emissions by 2050,” the government said.
The government added that £89bn of investment would be targeted at social infrastructure. Some £2.5bn will fund 165 community education projects, including major rebuilding projects at schools and sixth form colleges.
The plan also said the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) will provide financing support to private sector and local authority infrastructure projects across the country to help meet objectives on climate change and regional economic growth.
“The Bank will be able to deploy £12bn of equity and debt capital and be able to issue up to £10bn of guarantees, alongside a range of financing tools to support private infrastructure projects and, from the summer, offer loans to local authorities for strategic infrastructure projects,” the government said.
Achieving net zero gas emissions
Another focus area will be the retrofitting of existing buildings, to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Buildings account for almost one third of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions, with homes alone responsible for 22%, mainly through heating.
“The vast majority of the buildings that we will use in 2050 already exist, and most waste heat and money. The current landscape for retrofitting our existing buildings lacks the certainty, consumer confidence, demand and investment required to achieve the scale necessary to meet the UK’s net zero targets,” the government explained.
It added that a retrofitting market could also unlock a series of wider economic benefits, such as creating opportunities for the deployment of innovation and an expanding market for green jobs across the country.