Edinburgh named home city for Green Investment Bank HQ
Edinburgh has won the competition to be the home city of the headquarters of the world's first Green Investment Bank, the UK Government confirmed today.
The Scottish capital beat off 31 rival bids to be announced the HQ location, with the GIB's main transaction team based in London.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said locating the bank across the two cities will enable the GIB to become a world leader, playing to the strengths of both capitals.
He added: "Harnessing the strengths of Edinburgh and London will support the Green Investment Bank's ambition to become a world leader. 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."
Scottish Secretary Michael Moore welcomed the news, and added: "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 size and scale of the UK's single energy market ensures the level of investment that will unlock Scotland's renewables future, providing sustainable and affordable green energy across the UK. It makes perfect sense to have a GIB presence there.
"By basing the GIB's corporate HQ, asset management and administrative functions in Edinburgh and its transaction team in London, we can harness expertise across the country to deliver a strong and successful GIB for the UK."
The next step for the GIB is the recruitment of the Chair and Senior Independent Director so that it will be in a position to be fully operational this Autumn, subject to state aid approval for the GIB. The GIB is expected to employ 50-70 full time equivalent staff across the two sites.
First Minister Alex Salmond, said: "I am delighted that Edinburgh has been chosen on its merits as the headquarters for the Green Investment Bank.
"The decision recognises Scotland's position at the vanguard of the renewables revolution and follows an excellent and professional bid campaign. It is great news for Edinburgh's economy and for Scotland's thriving low carbon sector.
"It demonstrates the effectiveness of the unity built across the political spectrum, across all parts of Scotland with support from Glasgow and Edinburgh City Councils, and across our Universities, to argue Edinburgh's and Scotland's case, and also the importance of the £103 million from Scotland's Fossil Fuel Levy that we agreed to support the capitalisation of the Green Investment Bank. This is a good early return on Scotland's investment.
"In terms of green energy, the UK needs Scotland's target of 100 per cent of Scottish electricity demand coming from renewables by 2020 in order to achieve Westminster's targets under the Renewable Energy Directive — Scotland is estimated to contribute 30 per cent of the UK's renewables target.
"Edinburgh is the only location to bring together both finance and the clean energy industry in a single location, and has an unrivalled concentration of industry skills and experience, a point made clearly by the leading role played by our Financial Services Advisory Board. It makes every sense to locate the Green Investment Bank headquarters in Edinburgh, and now we must all get to work on the crucially important job of channeling investment into low carbon projects to move the sector onto a strong commercial footing.
"Now that this welcome decision has been made, I look forward to the establishment of the headquarters in Scotland, and to receiving details of the number of new jobs it will bring and the bank's structure."
Edinburgh image via Shutterstock