£10bn construction projects set for the UK’s West Midlands
20 different construction projects have been planned for the West Midlands region of the UK, cost a total of approximately £10bn (US$14bn).
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and former Managing Director of John Lewis, revealed an investment prospectus highlighting the 20 different projects.
Some of the construction works include the redevelopment of land across new stations created for the UK’s major High Speed Two project.
The prospectus also includes office, retail, and residential buildings – to be located near the new Birmingham International and Birmingham city centre train stations, with could take around 10% of the budget, at £1bn ($1.4bn).
There are also plans for Wolverhampton’s city centre, with the canal side to be redeveloped, expected to cost £150mn ($211mn).
A new manufacturing facility will be built in Nuneaton at £150mn, and a manufacturing park that houses Jaguar Land Rover is to be extending, at the cost of £4mn ($5.6mn).
The West Midlands Combined Authority has announced plans to get financial backing from domestic and foreign investors for the schemes, the Telegraph reported.
“We have a drum beat of momentum behind us both economically and culturally,” stated Andy Street, the Telegraph noted.
“This prospectus will show how we are creating fresh opportunities in the former industrial communities of the West Midlands, turning brownfield sites into new homes, schools, offices and factories.”
France to invest €1.8bn in Egypt’s infrastructure
France will invest a total of €1.8bn into Egypt’s infrastructure focusing specifically on upgrading the Cairo Metro, building a railway to Sudan, and developing water and energy schemes. Officials have called the investment a “major boost to bilateral cooperation”.
The Cairo Metro
Included in the financing is a concessional government loan of around €800mn to upgrade Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, introduced in the 1980s. The financing will pay for 55 trainsets for the line and is provided by the French engineering company, Alstom.
Line 6 is also due to be upgraded using further state-guaranteed loans worth up to €2bn. Bruno Le Maire said that this would be negotiated over the next six months. France and Egypt have worked in close cooperation ever since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became president in 2014, despite differences over human rights and strong criticism of Egypt by rights activists and some foreign states.
Nine more projects over the next half a decade
A further €1bn from France’s development agency, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), aims to cover a range of other projects over the next half a decade.
These projects include a railway line between Aswan, southern Egypt, and Wadi Halfa in Sudan, as well as several projects in the renewable energy and water purification industries. Bruno Le Maire, France’s Finance Minister, said Egypt was a “strategic partner and commercial dealings with it would be developed. France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans,” he said.
According to Le Maire, the AFD will also €150mn to support the construction of a universal health insurance programme. French contractors such as Vinci and Bouygues have a long history of working on the Egyptian capital’s underground system.
Talking about the relationship between France And Egypt, Le Maire concluded: “France will substantially increase its direct exposure to Egypt, becoming the first counter-party for government to government loans”.