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Green Investment Bank claims start-up success

Funding of £635m has been committed in the first five months of the new Green Investment Bank (GIB).

In a report ahead of an annual stakeholder meeting in Edinburgh on 26 June, the GIB says it has:

  • Committed funds to 11 transactions with a total value of £2.3bn
  • Directly committed £635m, resulting in a funding ratio that means every £1 from the GIB mobilises nearly £3 of private sector money
  • Backed transactions in all of its priority sectors: offshore wind, energy efficiency and waste

Projects that have been backed include a combined heat and energy plant at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and a local authority-managed recycling centre in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

The GIB also reports organisational progress, with offices established in Edinburgh due to become a permanent home in August; a staff of 74 rising to 100 by 2013, and an investment alliance with Abu Dhabi-backed clean energy firm Masdar, which will bring additional funding to support UK projects during the next seven years.

GIB chief executive Shaun Kingsbury said: “This represents an excellent level of activity and shows the impact we can have in helping the UK towards a greener economy. We are essentially a start-up and have a long road ahead of us as we build an enduring bank, but we’ve hit the ground running.

“Our mission goes beyond simply investing our own funds: our job is to crowd-in money from other sources. I’m really pleased that we have managed to bring in almost £3 of private funding for every £1 we have committed.”

Business secretary Vince Cable said the GIB was “already punching above its weight”.

He added: “I now want to see the bank move on to become a valued and integral part of the UK’s financial infrastructure, playing a pivotal role in the financing of our transition to a green economy. We must seize the opportunities for jobs and economic growth in this sector before others do.”

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