The Secretary of State regularly meets ministerial colleagues, and attracting private sector investment is one of many topics considered in their discussions on promoting a low-carbon economy and long-term green growth.
As the Secretary of State knows, many innovative clean-tech start-ups throughout the north-east are crying out for funding. Given that the green investment bank cannot borrow and £3 billion is not going to build us our green future, what will he do to ensure that more funding is available?
I think the hon. Lady misunderstands the role of the green investment bank. It is there to spur private sector growth and investment, which is ultimately going to deliver the green investment and green growth that we need. The bank, with £3 billion, which is considerably more than the Labour party proposed, is going to be a real engine for growth, but it is not the only show in town; there is a whole range of other policies that we need to promote a green enterprise recovery.
Following the Chancellor’s commitment to rebalance our economy, does my hon. Friend agree that Plymouth, with a very fine reputation for marine science and research, has a significant part to play in developing a green and low-carbon economy? Is he willing to come to Plymouth to see the very real work that the university and other authorities are doing within the city?
I gladly accept the invitation from my hon. Friend, who is a great champion of Plymouth. With its long maritime history, port facilities and engineering expertise, it is extremely well placed to benefit from that type of green growth, particularly in the marine area, and I look forward to seeing it at first hand.