Liberal Democrat Newcastle East Parliamentary Spokesman Greg Stone has issued a cautious welcome to the news that the Government is making available up to £1bn in loans via Lloyds and RBS for development of renewable energy facilities, but has called for the developing renewable manufacturing cluster on the Tyne to benefit.
The Government has been accused of under-funding development of the renewables sector compared to other EU countries, and the Lib Dems have been calling for investment in green technology and jobs as a route out of recession. The UK's only existing manufacturer, Vestas on the Isle of Wight, has recently threatened to close.
Greg Stone said "The city council and regional development agency have been actively supporting the development of a renewable energy manufacturing cluster at the Walker Offshore Park, but I know that the businesses promoting this scheme have been frustrated by the lack of direct Government support compared to that experienced in other EU countries. This new credit line is very welcome coming at a time when commercial loans are difficult to secure, but I want to ensure that the emerging cluster on the Tyne benefits from this opportunity. It would be an enormous letdown if the region was to miss out."
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