Jane Hutt, Minister for Finance and Government Business
Since EU Commission President Juncker announced his intention to establish a European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), I have been working closely with the UK Government, European Commission and European Investment Bank to explore potential financing opportunities across Wales.
I welcome the progress being made in Brussels, and it is expected that the EIB will commence lending to projects through EFSI in the Summer, and will continue lending for an anticipated four years. In the meantime, a pan Welsh Government group is working to ensure that Wales is able to maximise opportunities created by EFSI and other EIB funding. The Welsh Government has identified a number of schemes, drawn from the infrastructure priorities set out in the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan (WIIP), which could potentially benefit from EFSI, or other instruments. These projects which were published on the EU Commission’s website, showcase a wide range of innovative financing opportunities across Wales, including dualling of sections 5 and 6 of the A465 scheme the Velindre Cancer Centre, the Tidal Lagoon schemes, Energy Island Projects, the Metro and a number of pan-Wales schemes. We will continue to review and refine the list on a regular basis.
As well as engaging with the EIB, I continue to liaise with the UK Government and the other Devolved Administrations regarding potential EFSI opportunities, in particular, where new lending instruments have the potential to be implemented on a national or sub-national basis.
I am also seeking engagement with European Commissioner Katainen’s Roadshow on the EFSI and have invited him to Wales.
I will keep Members informed on the progress of this significant initiative as matters progress.
The UK indicative project list, which includes the initial Welsh project pipeline, can be found at: http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/financial_operations/index_en.htm