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Sunderland enters Green Investment Bank race

Sunderland City Council has entered the bidding process to host the new Green Investment Bank.

It has begun the self-assessment process in response to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills call for cities to host a new Bank that will see an initial £3bn invested in renewable energy and other sustainable industries across the UK.

Sunderland’s submission will include its ambition to make the Green Investment Bank the primary driver for UK green jobs.

Launching the bid, City Council leader, Councillor Paul Watson said: “We are the low risk, low carbon, high impact bid.

“We have the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles in Nissan, the best broadband in the UK which will maximise the potential for international investment communications and our port which is developing expertise in sub-sea engineering – vital for the future of the off-shore wind industry.

“There are major employment opportunities in green industries, both in the North East and across the UK. It is clear that you cannot have a bidding process without Sunderland being central to it.”

Leader of the Conservative group Coun Robert Oliver, said: “The Sunderland bid to host the Green Investment Bank has cross party support.

“We have the ideal conditions to make most efficient use of public monies and to provide stability for businesses and individuals to invest in and reside in the city. Sunderland is fast becoming a low-carbon hub and as such is the ideal location for the Bank.”

Chief Executive Dave Smith added: “We have followed the development of the Green Investment Bank with great interest given our growing profile in sustainability across the city.

“It is clear that in addition to driving local carbon industry through the Local Enterprise Zone, we can meet and in fact go well beyond the criteria set out by government.

“We have a vision of thousands of new green jobs being created by the Bank and our own sustainable investment plans.”

Sunderland City Council will submit its final bid submission to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills before the January 30 deadline.