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Leeds City Region Leads in Green Investment Bank Race

Leeds City Region Leads in Green Investment Bank Race

The Government has announced plans to create a £3b investment bank to support Green technology. The race has begun as more than 20 cities around the UK bid to host the bank that will only employ around 70 employees, but will have a wider symbolism for the winning region.

 

Leeds City Region was one of the first cities 'out of the blocks', before the formal competition was announced by BIS on 12th December 2011. The bank is designed to accelerate private sector investment in the UK's transition to a green economy, with the first priorities being:

  • Offshore wind power generation 
  • commercial and industrial waste processing and recycling
  • energy from waste generation
  • non- domestic energy efficiency
  • support for the Green Deal.

Vince Cable saidI want to set up the Bank as soon as possible, so it can start accelerating investments in these key sectors and help British companies take advantage of these opportunities. Setting out the priorities for the Bank and establishing UK Green Investments for April 2012 are a major step forward."

The Leeds City Region was launched on 8th September by Greg Mullholland  MP and Neil McLean, Chair of the LEP Board, who presented the case to a local business audience. They were joined by Alice Owen (ARUP) and Paul Wynn (Kelda) who explained why their businesses support the Leeds City Region bid. Shortly after the official launch the message was taken to Westminster and presented to an audience of Yorkshire MPs including current, former and shadow front-benchers. Philip Hudson (Drax) and Stephen Martin (Clugstons Group).

The central resource of the bid is the Green Investment Bank Leeds City Region website and blog that went live in early october, edited by Melanie Taylor of Leeds City Region. THis is a fantastic site that carries news and information about the region and the bid in particular, supported by the main partners, The Chamber ( Leeds, York and North Yorkshire) CO2 Sense and Financial Leeds.

Leeds City Region is the perfect location for the bank, with a unique combiation of renewable industry and expertise, academic excellence and the leading professional services sector outside Lonon. The Leeds City Region bid already enjoys cross-party support from the region’s MPs. Greg Mulholland MP recently led a debate in Parliament, during which Yorkshire MPs from all three main parties spoke out in support of the bid. Mr Mulholland said “The selection process outlined for the Green Investment Bank today shows that the Leeds City Region has exactly the right ingredients to deliver on the government’s aspiration’s for the Bank. As a global leader in the financial services and low carbon sectors, our bid  will demonstrate why the Leeds City Region offers a unique base for this important new initiative.”

In the forward to the business case for the Region,  Neil McClean, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership points to the region being the second largest manufacturing base in the UK, combined with the new offshore wind 'super cluster' based in the Humber, three coal power stations generating 17% of the UK's energy, and a low carbon business, financial and professional community that is second to none.

As Jon Price, Director of the Centre for Low Carbon Futures at York University said.

'The Advantage to locating the Green Investment Bank in the Leeds City Region is the vast experience of delivering low carbon infrastructure on the ground'.

 Green Credentials of the Region.

Leeds City Region  is committed to the delivery of a green econmy and already has a strong track record in a number of areas including Domestic Retrofit.  The City Regions Domestic Energy Efficiency Programme aims to build in intiatives such as the Kirklees Warm Zone to deliver energy efficiency savings and is working with DECC to advise on delivery of the Green Deal in the region. The region hosts a Low Carbon Framework pilot, has a plan for Low Carbon Transport and Urban Eco Settlemens programme testing new technologies in exemplar communities.

Private Sector Leadership:  The Region hosts a number of leading companies in energy generation and energy efficiency supporting the transitiion to a low carbon economy, including Drax Power, a business that is investing heavily in biomass renewable energy technology, Kelda Group the largest water services company in the UK that employs 3000 people, with a commitment to reduce the carbon intensity of their operation, currently meeting 10% of its electricity needs through renewable installations, David Brown Gearing, a global leader in gearbox manufacturing with a particular focus on the wind energy industry, Interface FLOR, world leaders in the production of environmentally sensitvie modular flooring, Land Securities, Asda, Morrisons , national businesses based in the region, with commitments to reduce emissions, use 100% renewable energy and produce zero waste.

Market leading financial legal and technical advisors financial services and private equity  [LDC, Liberum Capital, Evolution Securites, Endless Finance Yorkshire& YFM] CO2Sense who have invested £12.6 m in energy and waste projects in the region including anaerobic digestion, wind farm turbines and commercial hydropower, Financial services including waste to energy, gasification and  Legal and accountancy services;  [ the region hosts 200 accounting firms including most of the 20 largest UK practices, and a strong legal sector with specialist skills including DLA Piper, Addleshaw Goddard, Eversheds, Walker Morris, Sanders Squire Hammonds and Pinsent Masons]

The author, Jeremy Barnett, a leading environmental lawyer, has recently formed Resilience Partners Ltd together with Professor Richard Williams OBE, Engineer and Innovator, Jon Price, Director of the Centre for Low Carbon Futures and Carl Chambers, former FD of Spice Plc and Chairman of CNG Ltd. Resilience is a consultancy to advise innovators, global businesses, local and national governments who wish to launch low carbon research and development,  reducing risk in low carbon innovation, especially energy storage and smart grid technology. The partners will specialise in research, regulation and the financial modelling of new developments to create business resilience in new networks and The Circular Economy.

Academic Excellence: The Region is a hub of low carbon and environmental expertise in both research and development including

  • Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, hosted jointly by Leeds University and the LSE established in 2008.
  • Stockholm Environment Insitute with a major centre at York University
  • The Centre for Low Carbon Futures founded by the Universities of Leeds, York, Hull and Sheffield.
  • CenSA offers integrated sustainabilty accounting
  • Green Chemical Centre of Excellence at York University.

Major Infrastructure projects.  Carbon Capture and Storage and Offshore Wind are both major priorities in the wider Yorkshire and Humber region. The UK's largest CCS project has recently gone live at Ferrybridge - see recent article 5.12.11.   On 13.12.11, Siemens announced plans to build an £80m wind turbine factory which will become the centre piece of new large scale clusted of renewables businesses.    On 16. 12 11  E.oN announced plans for a £736 m wind farm 5 miles off the Humber coast as part of its Humber Gateway scheme. A second wind farm Westernmost Rough is planned near Withensea, consisting of 80 wind turbines.

To Support the camgaign to bring the Green Investment Bank to the Leeds City Region please add your support here 

You can also follow the campaign discussions and announcements, and join the debate on Linkedin by joining the group Leeds City Region Green Investment Bank by following the link here.   LinkedIn_Logo60px.png 




For any advice and assistance for issues like these please do call Jeremy on 0844 2722322 or submit a comment below. Jeremy will come back to you at the earliest convenience.

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