City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh To Be H.Q. of Green Investment Bank

By edg - Posted on 08 March 2012

View NE from Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh and London have been chosen as the joint locations for the government's new Green Investment Bank (GIB). The bank will be initially funded with £3bn of public money to invest in renewable energy projects.

Edinburgh was chosen from the 32 bids as the headquarters of the GIB,  while the GIB’s main transaction team will be based in London.

“Harnessing the strengths of Edinburgh and London will support the Green Investment Bank’s ambition to become a world leader," said the UK government's Business Secretary Vince Cable.

"Edinburgh has a thriving green sector and respected expertise in areas such as asset management. London, as the world’s leading financial centre, will ensure that the GIB’s transaction team can hit the ground running."

He added: “This decision will allow the UKGIB to operate effectively and achieve its mission of mobilising the additional investment needed to accelerate the UK’s transition to a green economy.”

Scots "Delight"

Scotland had pushed hard to have the Green Investment Bank located in Edinburgh, pointing out the "unique business ecosystem" of the Scottish capital as a global financial centre, with a large knowledge economy, and a Scottish government that has some of the most ambitious goals for tackling climate change in the world.

First Minister Alex Salmond said he was "delighted" on learning that the Green Investment Bank will be headquartered in Edinburgh:

"It is great news for Edinburgh’s economy and for Scotland’s thriving low carbon sector."

He praised the unified approach of the bid campaign: "It demonstrates the effectiveness of the unity built across the political spectrum, across all parts of Scotland with support from Glasgow and Edinburgh City Councils, and across our Universities, to argue Edinburgh’s and Scotland’s case, and also the importance of the £103 million from Scotland’s Fossil Fuel Levy that we agreed to support the capitalisation of the Green Investment Bank. This is a good early return on Scotland’s investment."

Salmond added: “In terms of green energy, the UK needs Scotland’s target of 100 per cent of Scottish electricity demand coming from renewables by 2020 in order to achieve Westminster’s targets under the Renewable Energy Directive – Scotland is estimated to contribute 30 per cent of the UK’s renewables target."

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore added: “The size and scale of the UK’s single energy market ensures the level of investment that will unlock Scotland’s renewables future, providing sustainable and affordable green energy across the UK. It makes perfect sense to have a GIB presence there."

“By basing the GIB’s corporate HQ, asset management and administrative functions in Edinburgh and its transaction team in London, we can harness expertise across the country to deliver a strong and successful GIB for the UK.”

Council Leader Cllr Jenny Dawe said:

"This is fantastic news for the city and Scotland as a whole. We made a compelling case based on Edinburgh's financial strength and rapidly developing clean energy hub. As the Business Secretary said, Edinburgh's strengths will enable the bank to become a world leader in its field, supporting investment in a greener economy."

"This wouldn't have been possible without the support of the Edinburgh business community, the Scottish Government, other Scottish councils and a range of organisations that have given their backing to the city's bid. I'm hugely grateful for all the hard work that has gone in to securing the bank for Scotland ."

Setting up the Green Investment Bank

The next step for the GIB is the recruitment of the Chair and Senior Independent Director so that it will be in a position to be fully operational this Autumn, subject to state aid approval for the GIB.

The GIB is expected to employ 50-70 full time equivalent staff across the two sites.

Ahead of obtaining state aid approval for the GIB, the Government will invest as UK Green Investments (UKGI) in green infrastructure projects from April 2012 focusing on the GIB’s five priority sectors - offshore wind power generation, commercial and industrial waste processing and recycling, energy from waste generation, non-domestic energy efficiency and support for the Green Deal.