Belfast Telegraph

UK's first green bank to have HQ in Scotland

By Alan Jones

The UK's first Green Investment Bank will be based in London and Scotland, the Government has announced.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said the headquarters will be in Edinburgh, with the main transaction team in London.

"Harnessing the strengths of Edinburgh and London will support the Green Investment Bank's (GIB) ambition to become a world leader," he said.

"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.

"This decision will allow the GIB to operate effectively and achieve its mission of mobilising the additional investment needed to accelerate the UK's transition to a green economy," the minister added.

The bank is designed to accelerate private sector investment in 'green' projects and is expected to employ 50 to 70 full-time staff across the two sites, with the number of staff based in Edinburgh expected to rise from 2015.

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore welcomed the news, saying: "I am delighted that the Green Investment Bank will be headquartered in Edinburgh.

"Scotland has enormous green energy potential and its capital is the UK's second biggest financial centre."

The Government said offshore wind power generation, commercial and industrial waste processing and recycling, non-domestic energy efficiency and support for the Green Deal will be the first priority sectors for the GIB, subject to approval by the European Commission.

The Business Department said an estimated investment of up to £200bn in the energy system alone is needed over the period to 2020, adding that the new bank will be "uniquely placed" to facilitate the transition to a green economy base.

Ed Matthew, director of Transform UK, the group that founded the original campaign to create the Green Investment Bank, said: "Scotland is a powerhouse for low carbon development and Edinburgh has fought with passion and determination to be the home to the Green Investment Bank.

"But the most important decision is still to come. Will George Osborne lift the constraint that the GIB cannot borrow until the next Parliament?

"If the GIB can't borrow, it is not a bank and will fail to fulfil its potential to reboot the UK economy and repower our energy system at the scale and speed required. If the Chancellor is serious about delivering a Budget for growth, he must lift the borrowing constraint now."