We are still consulting on eco-towns and no decisions have yet been taken on the final list of schemes with the potential to go forward as eco-towns. The expectation has always been that the bulk of investment needed to create an eco-town will come from the private sector. PricewaterhouseCoopers are currently assessing scheme proposals and the potential for costs to be funded by development without recourse to public subsidy. However, there will also be projects that we may support through direct funding to local authorities using the Growth Areas Fund and from mainstream funding programmes.
PricewaterhouseCoopers were commissioned to assess the financial viability of eco-town schemes earlier this year. The assessment is still under way and a final assessment is due to be submitted to the Department within the next couple of months. Early next year, at the end of eco-towns process, we expect to publish findings from the PwC assessment and other evidence that will inform decisions on the final list of schemes with potential to become eco-towns. Any published findings and associated analysis will of course respect commercial sensitivities.