BICESTER’S hopes of becoming the UK’s eco-friendly investment capital were dashed last week when Business Secretary Vince Cable announced a new national ‘green’ bank would be split between Edinburgh and London.
Various towns and cities had applied to host the headquarters of the new UK Green Investment Bank (GIB), including Bicester.
But last Thursday, Mr Cable said the headquarters of the GIB will be located in Edinburgh, with the GIB’s main team based in London.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said the arrangement will allow a greater commercial reach than a single location.
Mr Cable said: “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.”
Councillor Norman Bolster, Cherwell District Council’s lead member for economic development, said: “Well we knew we were up against some tough competition, a shame it won’t be coming to Bicester but congratulations to London and Edinburgh.”
Placi Espejo, partnership manager of Bicester Vision, said: “Bicester was one of a few possible locations where the Green Investment Bank could have been located.
“It is strategically positioned in the UK, with great, fast public transport among other attributes. It would have been ideal for the Green Investment Bank to have access to a number of local emerging companies within the clean and green technologies sector that look at Bicester as a favourable location to do business from.”
Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: “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.”
The next step for the GIB is the recruitment of a chairman and senior independent director.
The GIB could be fully operational by the autumn, subject to state aid approval.