Green Investment Bank: Welsh ministers disappointed as Scotland wins bid

Wind farm turbines
Image caption The Green Investment Bank will help to fund renewable energy schemes

Ministers in Wales and Westminster have expressed disappointment after Scotland won a bid to become the base for a new UK Green Investment Bank.

The Welsh government said it submitted a "robust bid" to bring the bank to Cardiff.

But it is understood the bid did not make it through the first phase of the selection process.

The bank is being set up with £3bn of public money to fund green energy schemes.

Cardiff was one of 32 locations across Britain hoping to host the new body.

It will be sited in Edinburgh, creating between 50 and 70 jobs, including staff in a London centre.

'Key player'

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said while it was disappointing, Wales "remains on track to becoming a key player in the UK's transition to a green economy, and the UK and Welsh governments continue to ensure that Wales remains a strong contender in the renewables sector".

She said UK Business Secretary Vince Cable's announcement signalled "massive potential in all corners of the UK for investment in new energy sources and with this comes significant job opportunities."

Welsh Business Minister Edwina Hart said: "We're very disappointed that the robust bid we made to the UK government to base the Green Investment Bank with 50 to 70 jobs in Cardiff has been unsuccessful."

The minister said she had personally pressed the case for Wales in a meeting with Mr Cable, whoannounced Edinburgh as the winner on Thursday.

She added that Wales was still well placed to take advantage of investments through the so-called "green deal".

"There is a much bigger job opportunity arising for business in Wales to help administer the 'green deal'," she insisted.

"This will involve the provision of millions of green loans for energy saving technologies to private individuals in the UK.

"There are a number of Welsh-based companies which have been alerted and are well placed to support this planned initiative."

A Whitehall source said the Welsh bid "fell at the first hurdle".

He also questioned the signals sent to the financial services industry by First Minister Carwyn Jones, who recently announced his support for a so-called Robin Hood tax on big international transactions.

The Welsh government responded by saying there was "more than a hint of another political agenda in play regarding this decision".

"We hope that over the coming few years, the UK government does not just focus on what Scotland wants. There is the rest of the UK to consider as well," a source said.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites