British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced private investment commitments in the UK worth a total of 29.5 billion pounds (34 billion euros), including a new 7 billion pound (8.055 billion euros) investment from Spain’s Iberdrola, as well as a further 11.5 billion from Australian fund IFM, which in Spain tried to buy Naturgy in a failed takeover bid, but remains one of its main shareholders.
Downing Street, the prime minister’s office, announced the investments in a statement ahead of Monday’s Global Investment Summit at Hamton Court Palace on the outskirts of London.
According to the UK government, the Spanish utility chaired by Ignacio Sánchez Galán plans to commit £7 billion to the UK between 2026 and 2028, on top of the £6.7 billion (7.7 billion euros) already committed for 2023-25.
Around two-thirds of the money invested between next year and 2028 will go towards electricity transmission and distribution networks, as well as projects such as the Eastern Green Link 1 (EGL1) submarine transmission cable, “which received regulatory clearance this month”, the note said.
The investment summit will bring together heads of large multinationals and funds, whose investments will create more than 12,000 jobs and help develop different parts of the country, according to the government.
The financial packages to be announced during the conference are in sectors such as technology, life sciences, infrastructure, housing and renewable energy.
In addition to Iberdrola, IFM, Naturgy’s shareholder, plans to invest 11.5 billion euros.
In addition to Iberdrola, another of the major investments to be presented at the summit will be the 10,000 million pounds (11,500 million euros) that the Australian pension fund IFM Investors wants to invest in infrastructure and energy transition projects over the next four years.
Meanwhile, Microsoft, according to the British government, will allocate £2.5 billion (2.87 billion euros) to its artificial intelligence (AI) development centres in the UK.
“Today’s investments (…) will create thousands of new jobs and are a huge vote of confidence in the future of the British economy,” Sunak said in the note.
The prime minister, who claims to have delivered “the biggest tax cut in recent history” in the tax plan he unveiled this week, said that attracting global investment is “at the heart” of his programme to grow the economy.
The plan unveiled by his finance minister, Jeremy Hunt, contains the extension of corporate tax breaks and new investment incentives, while keeping the total tax burden at record levels.