UK cities ‘could raise €6.2bn for smart projects’

Around €6.2 billion (£4.7bn) could be raised in the UK from the private sector to fund smart city projects. New research from Siemens Financial Services (SFS) found a growing number […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Around €6.2 billion (£4.7bn) could be raised in the UK from the private sector to fund smart city projects.

New research from Siemens Financial Services (SFS) found a growing number of global cities are approaching smart city development through a series of smaller projects that can be privately financed due to limited public sector budgets.

Its global study across 13 countries assessed the potential accessible funding their top 40% of cities could raise from private sector asset finance for these smaller-scale ‘SmartStart’ investments.

It identified nine smart initiatives that generally deliver a dependable return on investment and are currently being financed through asset-financing arrangements.

They include energy efficiency, vehicle routing, parking systems, mobile workforce, electric vehicles and low energy street lighting.

According to SFS, asset finance arrangements are well-suited to fund SmartStart projects as they are widely available, affordable, simple and quick to arrange. They also offer high transparency for cost monitoring and analysis.

Resultant savings can then help to unlock more finance for other smart city transformation initiatives.

Chris Wilkinson, Head of Sales for Public Sector, Siemens Financial Services said: “Cities around the world are increasingly engaging in smart development to improve efficiency of local services, enhance sustainability, improve the lives of their citizens and develop their competitiveness. Private sector asset finance allows cities to make the full range of SmartStart technology investments in a timely manner.”