Green Investment Bank to be based in Edinburgh

The Government has revealed its £3bn Green Investment Bank (GIB) will be headquartered in Edinburgh but conduct transactions from London.

vince cable mn

Business Secretary Vince Cable today revealed that Edinburgh had won the bid to host the Green Investment Bank, but a transaction team and project financing team will also initially be based in a London office to help drive investment.

He said the arrangement would deliver a greater commercial reach nationally than could be achieved from one location.

“Harnessing the strengths of Edinburgh and London will support the Green Investment Bank’s 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.”

Long-term view

Responding to the announcement that the Green Investment Bank will be based in Edinburgh, Paul Bateman, chairman of GreenBottle, a packaging firm that claims to have developed the world’s first paper milk bottle, said: “We welcome the Green Investment Bank but Government has to realise green investments are inherently risky.

“When GreenBottle launched in 2007 the banks wouldn’t touch us as we were pre-profit. Credit crunch made it impossible

“Private equity companies are also very cautious to invest along the same reasons. In the end we relied on 70 high net worth individuals but these are generally few and far between for start-ups now.

“Government funding has been notoriously difficult to access so if the Green Investment Bank is going to work it’s going to need a longer term view on investment and eventual return.

“Look at onshore wind farms – they took millions of pounds of government investment to make them viable.

“We’ve developed and patented groundbreaking pulp moulding technology that we could export around the world but we would need investment to help us do that. Not much but some ‘smart investment’ will help innovative green SMEs like ourselves take it to the next stage and become potential world beaters.

“So our advice is don’t turn the Green Investment Bank into just another bank. It must take a longer view of not only the economic viability but the environmental benefits. Plastic bottles take 500 years to decompose. GreenBottles break down in a matter of weeks.”

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