10. What recent progress he has made on determining the location of the green investment bank. (93007)
In December, the Department invited applications to bid for hosting the green investment bank. The closing date was Monday 30 January, and a total of 32 bids were received. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will make a decision shortly.
Newcastle has submitted an outstanding bid to host the green investment bank, and as a region we have the right mix of natural environment, green expertise, infrastructure and professional services, all supported to grow under the last Government in order to make it a success. However, bearing in mind that we are the region with the highest unemployment levels, to what extent will the Government’s commitment to supporting private sector growth, particularly in areas suffering the greatest loss of public sector employment, be a factor in the decision-making process?
I do not wish to prejudice the case Newcastle has put forward as one of the applicants. All I will say is that we will look at the points the hon. Lady has raised as part of the criteria for all applicants, and make sure that we can get a decision out by the end of the month.