West Country loses out as Edinburgh and London to host UK Green Investment Bank - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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West Country loses out as Edinburgh and London to host UK Green Investment Bank

Saturday, 10 March 2012
Green Investment Bank bid locations (Photo: Department for Business and Industry )All four West Country bids from Bristol, Gloucester, Torbay and Cornwall (Eden Project) to be home to the UK’s new and first Green Investment Bank (GIB) have been snubbed as Business Secretary Vince Cable announced on Thursday (8th) that the headquarters will be in Edinburgh, with the main transaction team in London.

Capitalised with £3 billion, the GIB will play a vital role in addressing market failures affecting green infrastructure projects in order to stimulate a step up in private investment as the UK makes bold steps in the transition to a green economy.

While it does not come as much of a surprise since neither Cornwall nor Devon has a significant banking sector, both regions are pioneers in the promotion of renewable energy industries. In addition, the Government repeatedly hails the potential for wind, wave, geothermal and solar technology in the region. The South West bids therefore were within their right to feel they had a strong chance.

For Adrian Sanders, Liberal Democrat MP for Torbay, the decision was disappointing but not a surprise: “They [Devon and Cornwall] didn't lose a lot of banking jobs in the last few years like London and Edinburgh. The main priority will be to ensure that the new bank directs the right investment to areas like the South West that urgently need new jobs."

Some 32 locations across the country had thrown their hat into the ring, and it may well be that most of the money invested from the GIB could be heading West anyway following the recent announcement of the South West as the UK’s first Marine Energy Park.

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