This section will cover some of the traditional routes to funding, an update on the funding opportunities identified in OxIS-17 and highlight emerging and new funding opportunities available for OxIS Stage 1. COVID-19 has significantly restricted the revenue streams available within the public sector, and within this report alternative opportunities available to the public sector have been identified to generate revenues that could contribute to the capital funding requirement.
This section will also cover the current, known and emerging funding opportunities, however in the period to 2040 it must be acknowledged that both the resulting impact of COVID-19 and the increased political pressure to reach Net Zero by 2050 are known factors that will impact funding opportunities. Further to this, the requirement for resilience and diversity of funding opportunities continues to be of value to reduce risk.
The responsibility for constructing and maintaining Oxfordshire’s infrastructure falls upon a diverse group of public and private bodies, with an even more diverse array of funding streams.
The funding gap has been broken down by infrastructure type excluding transport, outlining the significant funding gap in relation to Potable Water & Wastewater, Innovation & Enterprise and Education.Innovation & Enterprise shows a public sector funding gap of just 16% (£543m), the remaining funding requirement has been designated as private sector funding. The security of the private sector contributions has not been assessed and it therefore not yet guaranteed. This level of private sector and commercial investment is not reflected in other infrastructure types due to commercial sensitivities.
In some areas of infrastructure, such as Energy and Digital, the development of schemes is fully managed by the private sector. Where this is the case, it can obscure the visibility of both the funding need and the funding commitment. The result of this is that, in some cases funding for specific infrastructure will appear low if considered without the wider context. A good example of this is Digital – there is an expectation that full fibre in urban areas will be fully funded commercially by the private sector.
Commercial sensitivities also limit the degree to which schemes have been listed.
Rail represents the largest funding requirement for transport infrastructure schemes, hence rail representing half of the 10 largest schemes. Transport funding will primarily be sourced from Central Government and the DfT. DfT Capital expenditure for the South East (incorporating Oxfordshire) has averaged £2.1 per annum over 2015-2019. In the year 2019/20 this expenditure increased by 31% to £3bn.