I recently attended the launch of Leeds’ bid to host one of the coalition government’s main business initiatives, The Green Investment Bank.
The event was hosted by the Leeds City Region (our Local Enterprise Partnership) and was well attended by both the public sector bodies and the business community. The event really brought home to me the scale of the opportunity and potential benefits to the city and the region that can be realised if Leeds is successful in its bid.
The Green Investment Bank is being set up by the coalition government to provide funding for green initiatives which contribute to lowering the United Kingdom’s carbon emissions. Such investment will help support research and technological advances, not just lowering our own carbon emissions but also developing expertise and products which can be sold worldwide.
It’s clear the Green Investment Bank is not just a token gesture. It is going to be backed up by over £3 billion worth of government investment for green initiatives.
For Leeds and the wider region the opportunity to play host city plays to our strengths, after all we have:
- a skilled workforce both in terms of industry and professional services to support Green Investment Bank;
- have world leading educational institutions already researching and developing sustainable technologies;
- have a public sector supportive and already engaged in green issues;and
- offer a great quality of living environment and reasonable house prices for anyone relocating to the area.
The benefits to the city and the region would go beyond job creation, although this is important in itself. It would give further momentum to specialisms and skill sets in the region associated with green innovation and funding. It would also further enhance Leeds’ profile and reputation both nationally and internationally as a city in which to do business.
With such opportunities and benefits we must be under no illusion that competition to play host role will be stiff.
It’s going to be more important than ever for Leeds to speak with a loud and clear voice and to convey to central government the strength of our bid.
It is great to see that the Leeds City Region has been so quick off the blocks in promoting and driving forward Leeds’ bid.
Clarion, like so many of us in both the private and public sector in the region support and want to contribute to the success of the bid.
To find out more and register your support for the bid, please visit the website: www.greenbanklcr.org.uk.
At this stage in terms of taking the Leeds’ bid forward, Neil Maclean,chairman of the Leeds City Region, who is leading the bid stressed that more information would follow shortly – its still early stages and the game plan is being finalized!
In the meantime let’s not underestimate the importance of creating awareness of this opportunity and talking about Leeds being the right place to deliver its success.
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