The team bidding to make Edinburgh home of the UK's new Green Investment Bank made a final push to secure the bank for the city today.
The Green Investment Bank will provide £3bn of public money to support green infrastructure projects. Business Secretary Vince Cable is due to announce the winning bid for the GIB this month, with financing for projects starting in April. The GIB would create from 50 to 70 jobs in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh's bid is backed by both local and Glasgow City Councils, as well as the Energy Technology Partnership, which represents universities all over Scotland.
Energy spokespeople from the main political parties in Edinburgh outlined the case for the Scottish capital as the location for the GIB in a letter sent to Vince Cable sent in December.
It stated: "Edinburgh has a unique business ecosystem which will fully deliver the mission and each of the different functions of the Green Investment Bank. Edinburgh's business and civic community consists of a highly advanced network of financiers, developers, investors, asset managers, researchers, academics, think tanks and government agencies, all involved in the successful development and delivery of green infrastructure. This along with Scotland's legacy of excellence in the energy industry and with Europe's best renewables resources places Edinburgh as the ideal location for the Green Investment Bank."
Today, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing met with members of Edinburgh’s Green Investment Bank Group and reiterated Edinburgh's credentials in a debate in the Scottish Parliament in support of the city's bid.
“Edinburgh is the only location in the UK which brings together both finance and the clean energy industry in a single location. It has an unrivalled concentration of industry skills and experience," said Ewing.
"Locating the Green Investment Bank in Edinburgh will ensure the best possible chance for the UK to develop as the European centre of excellence in this sector."
While Edinburgh is considered one of the leading candidates among the 32 towns bidding, it remains to be seen whether the ruling SNP's bid for independence will have a net positive or negative outcome, particularly when compared against a strong bid from London.
There is cross-party support for Edinburgh's GIB bid, however Labour finance spokesman Ken Macintosh told the Scottish Parliament today that the Scottish government's plans for independence are "a potential barrier to us winning this bid".
- Coventry and Warwickshire
- Milton Keynes
- Tees Valley
"The GIB is designed to accelerate private sector investment in the UK’s transition to a green economy. 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 will be the first priority sectors for the Bank, subject to approval by the European Commission." (source: www.bis.gov.uk)