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Waste infrastructure projects close to getting PFI funding

Seven projects have been given the go ahead for the next stage of the PFI process after applying to Defra’s Waste Infrastructure Delivery Programme

“Each of these projects plans to deliver major waste infrastructure to help reduce the amount of England's waste ending up in landfill. This reduction is an essential part of the drive to tackle climate change and meet the UK’s landfill targets,” said Environment Minister Joan Ruddock.

The successful authorities are:

• Norfolk County Council
• Milton Keynes Council & Northamptonshire County Council
• Gloucestershire County Council
• Essex County Council & Southend Borough Council
• Leicestershire County Council
• Lincolnshire County Council
• Staffordshire County Council

The authorities must now submit their Outline Business Cases (OBC) by 30 April 2008. If approved, the schemes will be advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union in Autumn 2008. Two further projects - the North London Waste Authority, and Plymouth City Council together with Devon County Council and Torbay County Council - may still join the award round. They have been asked to review progress early in the New Year to assess whether they can submit their OBCs by April 2008.

The closing date for Expressions of Interest in the next PFI award round is 31 March 2008. This is likely to be the last of the rounds under the current Comprehensive Spending Review £2 billion allocation. Successful authorities will be required to submit their OBC by October 2008 with approval expected in the winter. Current applications for PFI credits must have a recycling rate equal to, or in excess of, the national target of 50 per cent by 2020.

Defra was given a further £2 billion of funding through PFI credits in the recent Comprehensive Spending Review which will be available to help local authorities invest in sustainable waste management options. The PFI credits will rise from £280 million in 2007/08 to £600 million in 2008/09, £700 million in 2009/10 and £700 million in 2010/11.