Ian Webster

Ian Webster



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Research Focus

My PhD is on the financing of public infrastructure in nineteenth-century England. I hope to complete it by publishing three articles. But preceeding these, I had to develop a dataset of all the public infrastructure investment by public bodies, private companies and voluntary organisations. The first article seeks to explain the shift from early private provision to later public provision. The second article will look at the development of the municipal capital market, and how finance was raised, mainly from individuals and institutions. The third article is likely to examine why the pattern of financing changed dramatically in the twenty first century, with the virtual elimination of the private investor.


After graduating from Bristol University, I qualified as an accountant in local government. I served as a finance director for 10 years, in two large public organisations, as well as spells as a management consultant and a freelancer. When  I retired, I completed a PhD at Sheffield Hallam University, on the Public Works Loan Board between 1817 and 1876. I came to Queens to continue my research into financing public infrastructure. I have also served as a governor of the University of Derby, and its Audit Committee chair, and am a director of several charities.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure


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