Peterborough in the race for Green Investment Bank

Opportunity Peterborough has this week submitted a bid to become the home of the Government’s new Green Investment Bank. The new headquarters, which could create up to 70 jobs in the city, will invest £3 billion between 2012 and 2015 to accelerate the UK’s transition to a green economy.

The Government has signalled that providing ‘green investment funds’ is a clear priority and potentially a key pillar of the economic recovery. The Green Investment Bank will be the world’s first public bank dedicated to the green economy. The bank will be set up with £3bn of public money to help firms fund renewable energy schemes, with estimates that an extra £15 billion of private investment could be generated for major projects beyond 2015.

Peterborough’s bid is one of 32 from a range of UK cities including London, Manchester, Bristol and Liverpool. Whilst competition is fierce, Opportunity Peterborough remains confident that Peterborough has the strengths to meet the requirements of the Bank.

Neil Darwin, director of economic development at Opportunity Peterborough, said: ‘The Government wants to establish the bank in a city with a strong financial sector and an innovative environmental sector; on both issues Peterborough performs exceptionally well. We face competition from a number of other cities, many of the countries biggest, but with our sector strengths, strategic location and city-wide enthusiasm, we can offer a cost-effective solution.”

The bank will start to invest in areas such as offshore wind for schemes that have ‘risks which the private sector cannot adequately finance’.  Early priorities are likely to include offshore wind, waste and industrial energy efficiency.

Opportunity Peterborough submitted a bid with strong support from the City’s two MPs Stewart Jackson and Shailesh Vara, Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce and the Local Enterprise Partnership. Strong endorsement was also received from Peterborough’s (and the LEP’s) largest businesses and universities.

The Secretary of State is due to announce his decision by the end of February.