Lawyers in Leeds have hailed the announcement of the location of the UK’s first Infrastructure Bank as testament to the city’s financial reputation and the infrastructure of the wider region.
In announcing the move in the budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Leeds site in the heart of Yorkshire will “invest across the UK in public and private projects to finance the green industrial revolution, beginning this spring.”
In welcoming the move, lawyers in the Leeds office of Irwin Mitchell say the city will have beaten stiff competition to be chosen as the Bank’s headquarters and highlights the strength of the city’s financial, banking and professional sectors.
Based in Leeds, the bank will have initial capitalisation of £12bn and is expected to support over £40bn of investment.
On joining the CBI Yorkshire and Humber Council, Paddy Sturman, a partner in the Irwin Mitchell national banking and finance team spoke of the region’s credentials and his optimism for the local economy going forwards and the Chancellor’s announcement is an endorsement of his views.
Paddy Sturman, the head of Irwin Mitchell Business Legal Services in Leeds, said: “This major announcement by the chancellor that the UK’s first Infrastructure Bank will be based in Leeds is fantastic news for the city and the wider Yorkshire and Humber region.
“We have said many times that this city and region have the workforce and the skills to rebuild the economy and this decision is testament to that. Together with the Freeports announcement, there will be building blocks in place to deliver the much trailed levelling up agenda in the north.
“The strength of our local banking and financial sector has clearly proved decisive and I’m confident it can deliver a positive return on investment for the government and region alike.
“In replacing funding previously obtained from the European Investment Bank, this was a necessary move that will close that funding gap and promises to support a positive post pandemic recovery that is green, deliverable and sustainable.”
In Leeds, Sunak promised the infrastructure bank will be up and running “in an interim form” by spring 2021.