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Green Investment Bank

Volume 541: debated on Thursday 8 March 2012

16. What discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the Green investment bank. (98674)

I have regular meetings with Cabinet colleagues to discuss a wide range of issues. My Department works closely with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on the Green investment bank, given the bank’s potential to play a major role in catalysing private sector investment in the low-carbon economy.

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer and welcome him to his new post. I have been championing Derby as a potential location for the Green investment bank, because we have had one or two knocks to our confidence in Derby and lost some jobs. [Hon. Members: “Too late.”] If I am too late—I have not heard the announcement—I would like to suggest that the Secretary of State works with his colleagues to see what other investments the Government can make in Derby to return confidence to the area.

I know that my hon. Friend is a real champion for Derby and is trying to get investment into the city, but I must tell her and the House that the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has announced that the headquarters of the Green investment bank will be located in Edinburgh, with its main transactions team based in the London branch.

In his discussions with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, did the Secretary of State make an assessment of the number of nuclear power stations, green chemicals plants, wind farms or tidal power generators that would be located in the City of London, and does that account for his decision to locate the Green investment bank there?

I think that the hon. Lady needs to read the Secretary of State’s written ministerial statement, which sets out his reasoning in detail. We spent a long time looking into the matter because there were 32 proposals and we wanted to do them justice. I refer her to the statement.

24. Many people in Yorkshire who worked really hard to attract the Green investment bank to Leeds will be gutted by this decision. To compensate for this bad news, will the Secretary of State and his Department commit to giving the Yorkshire carbon capture and storage cluster as much support as possible over the coming months? (98683)

I know how hard my hon. Friend works to promote investment in his constituency and I am sorry that he is disappointed, but he will realise, as I am sure the whole House will, that the Green investment bank will be investing across the country and, therefore, driving our low-carbon economy.

May I unambiguously and warmly welcome—it will be welcome across the whole of Scotland—the decision to site the Green investment bank in Edinburgh? Does the Secretary of State agree that this will also give a further shot in the arm to other sites in Scotland, such as Kishorn in my constituency, that are pursuing renewable energy initiatives with great employment prospects? I congratulate the Government. This is a very good start for my right hon. Friend in his new post.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his welcome. He is right. Edinburgh is an established centre for financial services and it couples that skill with a thriving green sector. That is why I believe my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has chosen it. I know that my right hon. Friend the Member for Ross, Skye and Lochaber (Mr Kennedy) has been a champion of investment for Kishorn point and welcome the planned investment for redeveloping the point.