NEGOTIATIONS are underway to attract £1 billion of external funding into York as the council looks to global investors to boost growth.

City of York Council is market-testing an alternative method of funding infrastructure projects, by seeking investment from the private sector.

Alongside bidding for central Government funds, council officials are engaging with external investors over the potential for funding major infrastructure and development projects identified as being critical to the city’s economic future.

The authority has said it doesn't have enough public assets or funding to deliver the developments and infrastructure improvements it wants to, and says the council is in a position of having to curtail its ambitions for growth or looking for private sector partnerships.

Council leader James Alexander revealed officers are in talks with representatives from state-owned investment funds in northern Europe and the Middle East, promoting York as a "great investment option" given its assets, strong economy and current growth potential.

The council is seeking a "critical mass" investment of £1 billion which would be shared among a range of infrastructure projects including road improvements and brownfield site development.

Cllr Alexander said: "The volume and pace of development needed to meet the city’s growing demand cannot be delivered by the market or public sector alone.

"With a backlog of 4,000 affordable homes, and 5,000 new homes, and an under supply of Grade A office stock in the right locations, we need to prepare a strategic investment pipeline to match proactively with appropriate viable investment options."

As talks with investors continue, council officers are preparing a report on the inward investment model, which will make recommendations for a preferred method of securing funds when presented to Cabinet in the autumn.

The council hopes that next year investors will be secured and delivery of the funds will be underway.