HULL and the East Riding have emerged as surprise bidders to host the Government’s new £3bn Green Investment Bank.
Officials hope low living and office costs and ambitious plans to turn the Humber into a green manufacturing hub will give them a crucial advantage over rival bidders, including Leeds and Sheffield.
Ministers have revealed they received 32 bids to host the bank, which will bring up to 75 jobs and be used to help fund green energy and low carbon projects. A decision is expected before the end of the month.
But the Hull and East Riding bid, details of which have only emerged after Monday’s deadline for submissions, means there are three rival Yorkshire applications fighting against each other.
The Leeds city region bid has received support from business leaders and politicians across Yorkshire and seizes on the city’s status as the UK’s second financial centre, while Sheffield city region claims it has met all the criteria laid down by the Government.
The Yorkshire Post Give us a Fair Deal campaign has been calling on Ministers to live up to their pledge to close the North-South divide by basing the bank in the region, which is already leading the way in green energy with ambitious plans for new technology.
Hull and the East Riding have highlighted a choice of several offices where the bank could be based – including Bridgehead Business Park, to the west of Hull, and Marina Court, in the city – and hope that offering among the lowest operating costs in the country will appeal to the Government in a time of austerity.
“The level of green related investment and activity in the Hull and East Riding area is already significant,” says the bid. “However, this is only the tip of the iceberg with many other projects currently being developed.”
It adds: “A decision to locate the Green Investment Bank in Hull and East Riding would further enhance the area’s growing reputation, strengthening the rapidly expanding renewables cluster.”
Although the bank will only attract a small number of jobs, there has been fierce competition to host it. Other bidders include Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh and London.
It will have £3bn to invest until 2015 and hopes to attract private capital as well.