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LGA report: Attracting investment for local infrastructure: a guide for councils

“Councils have proven that they are already leaders of place. This guidance will help councils to attract investment in the right infrastructure to help their communities meet their full potential.” 

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A new guide published by the Local Government Association and Department for International Trade (DIT) provides advice on how councils can use their unique position to attract private and foreign investment into local areas.

Councils have a key role in securing investment in infrastructure. Vital assets such as roads, homes and public buildings provide critical support to local economies and can unlock a community’s potential, enabling residents to access new education, skills, and work opportunities. This local investment is a vital part of the UK’s international success.

As part of the LGA’s wider sector-led improvement offer, and building on the fantastic work already taking place across local government, the report provides all councils with the tools, case studies and guidance to make an attractive proposition for investment in their area.

Some examples include:

  • Newcastle City Council joined up with Legal & General to fund one of the city’s biggest urban regeneration projects, set to create over 4,000 jobs, 500,000 square feet of office and research space, and 450 new homes. The partnership at the beginning of the project enabled the development to benefit from a wider range of expertise.  
  • Devon County Council received £55 million funding from the Housing Infrastructure Fund from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to support the early delivery of infrastructure to unlock a major urban extension in Teignbridge, south-west Exeter. The funding will deliver electricity upgrades, sewer capacity, community building, of new junctions and cycle routes on the A379 to serve the new development and building a pedestrian/cycle bridge, serving a school campus and community facilities.
  • Bristol City Council, with partners from the public and private sector, has launched the City Leap Prospectus with the aim of attracting up to £1 billion of low carbon and smart energy infrastructure investment over the next 10 years. By staging the application process and courting different approaches, the council benefitted from more innovative and financial beneficial input.   
  • Worcestershire County Council have secured Department for Transport (DfT) funding for a new bypass which will halve peak journey times along the A4440. The DfT has funded £55 million with the County Council funding the remaining cost of the scheme to build the new dual carriageway which will benefit the local area through the creation of more than 6,000 jobs and the development of up to 5,600 new homes. 

Sir Richard Leese, Chair of the LGA’s City Regions Board, said: 

“Infrastructure plays a critical role supporting local communities and the local economy.

“As well as economic infrastructure, there is also a compelling need to invest in new social infrastructure, such as housing, industrial and commercial property, new schools and hospitals, to continue to regenerate and revitalise the UK’s town centres. 

“Councils have proven that they are already leaders of place. This guidance will help councils to attract investment in the right infrastructure to help their communities meet their full potential.” 

Minister for Investment, Graham Stuart MP, said:

“Foreign capital investment has the power to transform local communities, providing high quality infrastructure for residents and creating jobs for local economies.

“This new report is a brilliant starter for 10 for local councils looking to maximise the opportunities private investment can bring to their local area.

“DIT is committed to working with local government to drive private sector investment into regions across the UK to ensure the benefits of foreign capital investment are felt in every corner of the country.”

Notes to editors

  • You can access the LGA’s ‘Attracting investment for local infrastructure: A guide for councils’ here.
  • The LGA supports all councils through its sector-led improvement (SLI) offer. SLI is the approach to improvement put in place by local authorities and the LGA alongside the abolition of the previous national performance framework.