Funding Transport Investment
There are numerous government controlled opportunities for funding transport investment, including funds targeted at wider regeneration and development objectives. Funding bids are often competitive and have short turnaround times.
Bids require business cases which are complex and subject to thorough assurance processes. Business cases need robust evidence bases including recent data and transport models. Similar evidence will be required to secure planning and other consents.
THE 5-CASE MODEL
Most UK government funding bids require a “5-case” business case:
- Strategic case – a compelling story for the proposed investment
- Economic case – return on public investment (economic, environmental, social and distributional impacts)
- Commercial case – how will the scheme be procured and risks transferred?
- Financial case – is the proposal affordable over its life span?
- Management case – how will the scheme be planned, managed and risks handled?
KEYS TO SUCCESS
- Talk to key stakeholders early: DfT, Highways England, Network Rail, neighbouring authorities, Environment Agency, sub-national transport bodies, etc
- Understand business case guidance
- Don’t jump to the solution – be clear on objectives and consider a range of solutions
- Have a clear narrative for why the investment is required
- Be prepared – have the evidence and analysis “in a back pocket” to exploit funding opportunities
- Identify all relevant benefits: transport, economic development and job creation, environment, housing delivery,
- Early “gap analysis” of the evidence – do we need to do a survey, update a transport model, etc?
- Focus effort and budgets on main benefits, downsides & risk
- Align the business case to the objectives of the fund: eg housing, jobs, climate, inclusion, etc
- Identify local funding source or private partners
- Consider a funding cocktail drawing on multiple sources