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How can we make London’s infrastructure pipeline more investible?
19 October 2020
At last year’s London Infrastructure Summit, we were delighted to launch the London First-Arcadis Working Group into the role of private investment in infrastructure. The Working Group has since met on a number of occasions with contributions coming from some of the capital’s largest investors, infrastructure operating companies and professional services firms as well as public sector officials from bodies such as the Infrastructure Projects Authority and Transport for London.
Our latest meeting in June discussed some of the challenges that the upcoming Infrastructure Finance Review will need to address if the UK is to incentivise sufficient private investment into infrastructure post-Covid. One of the issues raised was the need to advocate for a new public-private partnership (PPP) model, which – according to the Working Group – should cater to the differing needs of different projects with returns to investors being strongly linked to ESG metrics.
The capital does, of course, have experience in utilising innovative PPPs to deliver major infrastructure projects (e.g. Thames Tideway and Silvertown Tunnel). But agreeing on what new PPP models should look like will be no easy task and there are many other challenges that need to be addressed if London’s infrastructure is to be resilient against future challenges. In particular, how will we incentivise adequate investment into newer technologies that are often inherently risky investment prospects? The UK will lose access to finance from the European Investment Bank, so a British-equivalent needs to be created that focuses on providing finance to projects that would struggle to attract private capital without assistance – particularly innovations related to the net-zero carbon agenda.
The London First-Arcadis Working Group will meet again on 10th December after the Infrastructure Finance Review has been published, bringing together key figures from the public and private sector once again. At this session, we will seek to examine how to make the Government’s infrastructure pipeline more investable for private investors by discussing – among other things – what models should be used to incentivise private capital into different types of infrastructure.
Before then, we would very much encourage you to join London First and Arcadis at our upcoming session at the London Infrastructure Summit on 21st October, which will examine the role of private capital in infrastructure. We will be hearing from:
Andy Rose, Senior Adviser, Agilia Infrastructure Partners (Chair)
Liz Peace, Chair, Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation
Keith Perry, Partner, Arcadis
Stephen Dadswell, Head of Corporate Finance, Transport for London; and
Kate Willard, Chair, Thames Estuary Growth Board
The full agenda for the London Infrastructure Summit can be found here.
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