Following extensive media coverage over the last week, the new Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill had its first reading in the House of Commons on Wednesday (5 September). The bill can be accessed here.

The draft bill allows the Treasury, or the Secretary of State with the consent of the Treasury, to provide loans, guarantees or indemnities up to a value of £50 billion in relation to works for:

  • gas, water and electricity services;
  • transport facilities;
  • health and educational facilities;
  • court and prison facilities; and
  • housing.

The Government hopes the Bill will be passed into law by the end of October 2012.

The Treasury reports that the scheme has been established to support major infrastructure projects struggling to access private finance because of adverse credit conditions. The Government also intends to issue debt guarantees to support the building of new private rented sector and affordable homes.