The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) is considering creating a £1bn regional infrastructure fund to speed up the delivery of projects in the region.

The quango has commissioned a team of consultants, led by Colin Buchanan and Hewdon Consulting, to work up options for a regional infrastructure fund (RIF).

The option is being considered as a means to realise the area’s growth plans, which the EEDA says cannot be achieved without significant capital investment. It said the fund would provide upfront, readily available funding for infrastructure and transport, provided by banks, government sources and the levy on new developments.

Pay for projects

Steve Cox, executive director of strategy and development at the EEDA, said: ‘The regional infrastructure fund which the EEDA is developing follows the recent Budget announcement in which the government asked regional development agencies to look at innovative funding mechanisms to pay for infrastructure.

‘It will accelerate infrastructure delivery and support the region’s ambitious growth plans vital to ensuring the region’s businesses can stay competitive in a global marketplace. The billion pounds that could be raised from a regional infrastructure fund should accelerate delivery of prioritised schemes.’

A business case for the fund is expected to be delivered during the summer, and during the process the EEDA plans to consult with local authorities and businesses. Denton, Wilde & Sapte and PKF are also advising.