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Lib Dems call for Green Investment Bank to create sustainable banking and green industry jobs in Newcastle

November 2, 2010 8:00 AM

Newcastle City Council's ruling Lib Dem group will call this week for the Government to establish its new Green Investment Bank in Newcastle, helping to create jobs and stimulate sustainable economic development in the North East.

The Government confirmed that the Green Investment Bank would go ahead in the recent Comprehensive Spending Review, utilising £1 billion of equity released from the sell-off of the state's shareholding in nuclear processing. This fund would be made available to businesses to support the growth of the low-carbon economy, enabling business to access venture capital to support expansion and new product development, creating sustainable employment growth.

Lib Dem councillor Greg Stone will propose a motion at Wednesday's meeting of the city council, calling for the Government to consider locating the new bank in Newcastle in recognition of the city's success in topping the Forum for the Future's Sustainable Cities Index for the second year in succession.

He said: "It would be hugely appropriate for the Government to establish the Green Investment Bank in the UK's most sustainable city. It would help Newcastle to create sustainable employment in the banking sector to grow green shoots from the failure of the unsustainable banking sector epitomised by Northern Rock. In addition to our Sustainable City index success, we have experience of both banking and the development of green technologies, not to mention ideal premises such as Partnership House in Gosforth."

"Locating the new Bank here would help to underpin the city's financial services sector and would help to accelerate the growth of the North East's developing green industries cluster. The new Bank could help to businesses to expand in fields such as the supply chain for electric vehicle manufacturing, the development of turbine manufacturing on the Tyne at Walker, and help small businesses to start up to help homes and businesses benefit from reducing energy and increasing recycling"

"I believe this approach could be a very significant boost for the sustainable economic development of the region. Given the cross party support for the principle of the Green Investment Bank I hope that the council and the proposed LEP can get behind this call, and that the Government will provide much-needed support for green job creation to drive the North East's economic recovery"