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Kinnock backs ICE Infrastructure Bank plan

Former European transport commissioner Neil Kinnock and author/economist Will Hutton voiced their support for a national infrastructure investment bank at the Labour Party conference in Brighton last week.

Both agreed that there was a need for such a bank to ensure that nationally significant infrastructure projects, such as the high-speed rail network, have a secure source of funding.

Lord Mandelson also commented on the need for “innovative models” to supply funds for future investment in his speech at the conference.

The ICE has been calling for a national infrastructure investment bank to ensure infrastructure projects that are vital to our future wellbeing get the funding they need.

“It is encouraging to see the idea of national infrastructure investment bank gain credibility.”

Tom Foulkes, ICE

The institution believes that having a secure source of long-term financing will support projects that will strengthen UK competitiveness and help with its transition to a low-carbon economy.

Liberal Democrat shadow chancellor Vince Cable announced his support for an infrastructure investment bank in his keynote speech at the Liberal Democrats’ conference in Bournemouth last month (NCE last week).

Think tank Policy Exchange also recently supported ICE’s calls for a new funding model in its report Delivering a 21st century infrastructure for Britain.

A strong case

“It is encouraging to see the idea of national infrastructure investment bank gain credibility from a range of sources across the political spectrum,” said ICE director general Tom Foulkes. “When infrastructure is properly financed, planned, and prioritised the economic and social benefits always outweigh the initial costs.

“However, in the current challenging economic climate, securing the funding required for these projects has never been more difficult.

“At the same time, with new power stations urgently required, and projects such as high-speed rail supported by the main political parties, securing the capital to ensure timely delivery has never been more important.

“The ICE believes that there is a strong case for a national infrastructure investment bank and we will continue to push the case for it.”

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