Leeds: ‘Green bank should come to our region’

SUPPORT: Mark Goldstone, (Leeds Chamber of Commerce),  Paul and Neil McLean (LEP), Joanne Pollard (CO2 Sense) and Howard Kew (Financial Leeds) at the launch.

SUPPORT: Mark Goldstone, (Leeds Chamber of Commerce), Paul and Neil McLean (LEP), Joanne Pollard (CO2 Sense) and Howard Kew (Financial Leeds) at the launch.

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MP Greg Mulholland said he was ‘proud’ to help launch the bid to bring the government’s proposed Green Investment Bank to our region.

The Leeds City Region – which represents 11 local authorities – made its case to home the proposed bank which is one of the key elements in the Coalition’s green agenda.

Around 100 business people, public officials and others attended the launch event at Broad Gate in Leeds at which Mr Mulholland said that all Yorkshire MPs support the bid.

Other cities such as Edinburgh, Manchester, London and Bristol have said they want to house the Green Investment Bank too, but the case for bringing it to Yorkshire was strongly made.

The bank would create between 50-100 jobs and is likely to be up and running by 2015, although a decision on its home is likely to be made next year.

It would offer funding to green projects which have difficulty getting support from mainstream banks and help the UK reach its carbon reduction commitments.

Mr Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, said he was “proud” to be involved.

He said: “The involvement of the private sector and the public sector and the not-for-profit sector will be absolutely vital.

“There is huge support for this bid.

“The Green Investment Bank is a big opportunity.

“The Government’s vision for a Green Investment Bank is an admirable and exciting one.”

Alice Owen, associate director of Arup, said the region meets all the criteria set out by the government for the location of the bank.

She said that regional financial expertise and interest and innovation in the green economy, as well as strong transport links and cheaper costs, made the Leeds City Region bid a winner.

She said: “It seems to me inescapable that where the government wants to locate the Green Investment Bank is here.”

Neil McLean, chairman of the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), said: “This is the only bid that fulfils the criteria.

“The city region and the rest of Yorkshire and Humberside has already a very strong green infrastructure. We are already known as a green economy.”

Mr McLean said that a website has been launched to garner support and he would like to see 50,000 signatures endorsing the bid.

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