Edinburgh and London were chosen as the two cities to host the Green Investment Bank and Manchester came in a close third
After a couple of tense weeks (the decision was due end of February), it has been announced today that London and Edinburgh will be jointly hosting the Green Investment Bank. The bank’s headquarters will be based in Edinburgh and the main transaction team will be in London. The Green Investment Bank, which aims to encourage investment in low-carbon technologies such as renewables and recycling, is expected to employ 50-70 people.
We contacted John Ashcroft, chief executive of pro.manchester, who represented Manchester’s bid for the Green Investment Bank for a comment:
“We welcome the commitment of the government to the Green Investment Bank and the ambition to create a world leader in it’s field. Naturally we would have preferred the bank to be located in Manchester but our recent success with the bid for the £50 million Graphene centre offers some consolation.
Edinburgh like Manchester has a thriving green sector and respected expertise in wealth and asset management. London, as the world’s leading financial centre, will ensure that the GIB’s transaction team can hit the ground running.
Unlike some we do not see the decision as a political sop to Scotland to ward off devolution. No more in fact than the decision to repatriate the Stone of Scone.”
Over the next three years, the bank will have £3 billion to lend and should be able to leverage a further £15 billion from April 2015. However the decision not to allow the bank to borrow from the get-go has been criticized.
Friends of the Earth’s economic campaigner David Powell said in a press release:
“Choosing the HQ for the Green Investment Bank has been like arguing about where to put the cherry on a half-baked cake. This is great news for Edinburgh, but George Osborne’s inadequate support means it will start life as a lame duck. The Chancellor’s Budget must free the bank from his vice-like grip by allowing it to borrow and lend from the markets from day one.”