THE Government's much-hyped green investment bank may have to wait four more years before it is able to raise the capital it needs to do its job, it was said last night.
The bank is due to be up and running next year, offering millions of pounds to help fund new renewable energy projects.
Many in the region, including business leaders and Teesside MP Tom Blenkinsop, say the bank should be located in the North East, where the economy is increasingly geared towards offshore wind and low carbon cars.
The Government-backed institution has been dogged by disagreement within Whitehall about whether or not it should be a bank able to raise its own capital, amid concerns its borrowing could undermine efforts to cut the deficit. Mr Blenkinsop, said: “The bank should be situated close to industry, and should have a manufacturing bias, so industry has a source of capital to draw upon.
“Teesside is an obvious venue, next to industry, to supply those cash flow needs and to build upon NEPIC, steel and wider manufacturing success across the region.”
Ahead of today’s Budget, Ed Matthew, director of campaign group Transform UK, said he expected the Treasury to announce the bank would be able to borrow – but not until 2015.
He said the bank was due to be up and running by 2012, and urged the Government to set a cap on borrowing when it is first operational rather than imposing a delay on its ability to raise capital.