High speed train of the type proposed for the HS2 network
High speed train of the type proposed for the HS2 networkReuters

China has given a fresh boost to UK's major infrastructure projects by saying that its largest bank wants to become a substantial backer behind the plans, including the controversial high speed rail.

China Development Bank (CDB), one of the largest lenders worldwide, wants to directly fund two of UK's largest projects, according to the BBC, in the form of High Speed 2 (HS2), the planned high-speed railway, and the next generation of nuclear power stations.

The Beeb says that CBD and The CityUK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will encourage CBD lending to the UK.

Brokered by Sir Gerry Grimstone, the CityUK's chairman, the agreement will also see The CityUK and CDB trade in the renminbi – China's currency – which could see trading opportunities between the two become even more free flowing.

"They are interested in nuclear, high speed rail and telecommunications. High Speed 2 was one of the things they specifically mentioned [in the meeting this morning]. Knowing the finance is available is an important part of any project. This is an important development," Grimstone told the BBC.

China's potential investment in HS2 will be a breath of fresh air for the British taxpayer and Downing Street, as the latter had previously said that the financial burden of this project would be borne by the former.

CBD spends billions of pounds a year, supporting projects in Africa and Asia. It now seems however that it is looking to extend its reach into Europe.

HS2 has proved to be a handsome business proposition for the Chinese. Premier of China, Li Keqiang, originally offered China's services last December, before China Railway Service moved to get on board.

"HS2 could be an attractive investment opportunity. This is not some wishy-washy diplomatic gesture," Grimstone continued.