Backing Edinburgh for the Green Investment Bank

Last week the Parliament debated the bid for Edinburgh to be the home of the new Green Investment Bank (GIB).

Plans for a Green Investment Bank were announced by then Chancellor Alistair Darling MP in 2010 and since then different locations around the country have been working on their bids.

The Parliamentary debate came ahead of the expected announcement of the winning bid.  However, it was announced that due to the high volume of interest, the decision has had to be put back.

The GIB would bring together expertise from the green, research and financial sectors to help encourage investment in low-carbon industries. 

While some renewable technologies are well established, many are still in their infancy.  At the earliest stages of development, when ideas are generated and there is not yet a tangible product, there is a great deal of risk associated with investment.  The GIB would help to create conditions where those risks are minimised to encourage investment.

During the debate, there was agreement from all parties that Edinburgh is ideally situated to deliver the GIB’s objective.  From the financial perspective, the city has a well-established and broad range of expertise while our universities and colleges have a reputation for pioneering research into green technologies. 

The team behind the Edinburgh bid has been quick to highlight the need to reach out beyond the city to engage and build strong links with industry across Scotland and the UK.  They rightly point out that Edinburgh is well placed to reach all corners of the UK and beyond adding further credibility to the bid.

The GIB provides a one-off opportunity for us to grasp the initiative and really kick-start a green jobs revolution. Despite all of the positivity surrounding the Edinburgh bid, there is no room for complacency with other bids around the country just as determined and just as convinced of their merits. MPs in Edinburgh have sent a , Vince Cable, to make the case for Edinburgh.

A tremendous amount of work has been invested in Edinburgh’s bid and huge credit must be paid to the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce who have been a driving force.

I was pleased to get the opportunity to contribute to this debate.  I believe that Edinburgh has a strong and robust case to become the home of the GIB and I hope that our discussions in Parliament will be helpful to the wider process of choosing a winning bid.