UK Infrastructure Bank to act as cornerstone lender in CityFibre deal to bring high quality full fibre broadband to millions of homes across England and Scotland

UK Infrastructure Bank to act as cornerstone lender in CityFibre deal to bring high quality full fibre broadband to millions of homes across England and Scotland

The UK Infrastructure Bank has today announced that it will invest £200 million as a cornerstone lender to support the roll out of full fibre broadband to 8 million UK homes by CityFibre.

The deal will benefit thousands of families and businesses from Plymouth to Dundee, aiming to provide fast, affordable and reliable broadband to 285 towns and cities across England and Scotland by 2025.

The deal, which is worth £4.9 billion in total (£3.9 billion in financing plus £1 billion of uncommitted accordion), supports a programme which marks a step-change in the acceleration of full fibre broadband with ambitious roll-out plans. As a cornerstone lender in the transaction, the UK Infrastructure Bank’s involvement has helped underpin the largest debt raise seen in the UK digital market to date.

New digital infrastructure is one of the UKIB’s five priority sectors and this deal will support the government’s ambitious target of achieving national gigabit-capable (with speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second) coverage across the UK by 2030 by accelerating the roll out of resilient fibre broadband to properties in England and Scotland.

Digital infrastructure is vital for the future of the UK economy and fast, affordable, and reliable broadband is key to improving productivity in all areas such as supporting people in work and education, as well as driving innovation and encouraging social connectivity.

This investment will ensure that more areas can access the benefits of full fibre more quickly and reduce existing inequalities in digital infrastructure provision. The government has a target of reaching national gigabit-capable broadband coverage to at least 99% of premises by 2030, with a target of 85% of premises expected to be met by 2025.

John Flint, CEO of the UK Infrastructure Bank, said:

"We are pleased to act as a cornerstone investor in what will be the largest digital debt transaction in the UK market to date, connecting a third of UK households with fast and reliable broadband throughout England and Scotland.

"It is clear how important good quality connectivity is for the UK economy, and in addressing regional inequalities."

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive Officer of CityFibre, said:

"We’re delighted to have the support of the UK Infrastructure Bank as a core lender in our £4.9bn financing. Their objectives of unleashing huge economic impacts through infrastructure investment align perfectly with our own. With our plans now fully financed we look forward to accelerating our nationwide rollout, reducing the digital divide and helping to level up the UK."

The UK Infrastructure Bank opened for business in June 2021 to tackle climate change and boost growth across the United Kingdom. The Bank has now announced seven deals with a range of investments in line with its mandate, strategic objectives, and investment principles, which can be found on the UK Infrastructure Bank website.

These include digital infrastructure in Northern Ireland through Fibrus, and rural England through Gigaclear, as well as financing subsidy-free solar power plants in England and Wales through its deal with NextEnergy. It has also supported the UK wind sector, through a loan to Tees Valley Combined Authority via its lending function and financed green bus routes with the West Midlands Combined Authority.

02 June 2022

Further information

Information regarding other organisations supporting the deal.

UK Infrastructure Bank

  • The UK Infrastructure Bank was announced as part of the Government’s National Infrastructure Strategy in 2020 and launched in June 2021. The Bank’s objectives are to help tackle climate change and to support regional and local economic growth. In January 2022 it published a discussion paper which set out early thinking as the Bank develops its Strategic Plan, to be published in June 2022. More detail is available in the UK Infrastructure Bank Policy Design Document and the Bank’s Framework Document both of which are on our website.
  • The Bank is operationally independent from Government and projects are assessed by the Bank and approved through an Investment Committee.
  • The UK Infrastructure Bank has supported this deal to accelerate the benefits of full fibre rollout over the next few years, in line with our mandated priority sectors.

About CityFibre:

  • CityFibre is the UK’s largest independent Full Fibre infrastructure platform, providing carrier-neutral digital infrastructure to its wholesale customers and enabling ultra-fast, reliable and futureproof broadband, ethernet and 5G services to serve homes and businesses as well as schools, hospitals and GPs surgeries.
  • CityFibre is based in London and is owned by Antin Infrastructure Partners, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Mubadala Investment Company and Interogo Holding.