Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Finance and Government Business
The European Investment Advisory Hub was created in September under the aegis of the Investment Plan for Europe (IPE). It is situated within The European Investment Bank (EIB), and has the specific aim of supporting delivery of the €315 billion European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), as well as providing technical and assistance services to infrastructure project promoters. More information about the Hub is available at the link below:
Since the launch of the IPE, I have had a number of positive discussions with Jonathan Taylor, UK Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) – the most recent of which took place at the newly opened Swansea Bay Innovation Campus on 19 October. These discussions have aimed to establish priorities for infrastructure investment in Wales with the potential to be financed by EFSI and other EIB financing instruments. During the course of these discussions, the Welsh Government has promoted more than ten schemes that could benefit from EFSI, or other instruments. The projects extend across a range of sectors in all parts of Wales, including the Tidal Lagoon scheme, dualling sections 5 and 6 of the A465 scheme, Energy Island Projects, the Metro and the Velindre Cancer Centre.
As part of my discussions with Jonathan Taylor, I invited the European Investment Advisory Hub to Wales to talk about its mandate directly with project promoters from across the Welsh public and private sectors. I am delighted to say that Jonathan accepted my invitation; and that today the Hub presented the scope of its work to an eager Welsh audience. This was the first event of its kind that the Hub has undertaken in the UK and amongst the first in Europe. Furthermore, the Hub was supported at the event by EIB colleagues from the Bank’s Operational Department, as well as colleagues from the European Commission, which is responsible for implementing structural reforms to improve the EU investment climate under the IPE.
The Hub event comes hard on the heels of my visit yesterday to Velindre NHS Trust. There, I met the project team responsible for delivering the £210 million Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) hospital redevelopment scheme that is integral to the transforming cancer services in South East Wales programme. This NPD scheme is one of a number of infrastructure projects in Wales that the EIB has expressed a strong interest in financing; and is expected to be the first of the Welsh Government’s NPD schemes to be tendered in the market place, in 2016.
I will continue to work closely with the EIB to promote infrastructure investment opportunities in Wales, and to encourage project promoters from across Wales to engage directly with the European Investment Advisory Hub. I will continue to keep Members informed on the progress of this engagement as matters progress.