Thursday 27th October 2016                 Change text size:

The battle for the Green Investment Bank location: round two

The battle for the Green Investment Bank location: round two

Following yesterday’s initial reduction of the 32 Green Investment Bank bidding cities, Blue & Green Tomorrow reduces the candidates further, from 16 to eight, in round two of our recommendation series.

The race to host the Government’s £3 billion Green Investment Bank (GIB) is hotting up, and Blue & Green Tomorrow is here to provide a clear and impartial recommendation as to which UK city should be chosen.

Those who visited our site yesterday will be well aware that we have already whittled the original 32 bidders down to 16 based on the carbon emissions of each. So we now have a select group of cities that have either low or significantly improving greenhouse gas levels.

As we said in round one, this is because we believe that the GIB should be located somewhere that doesn’t spew an excessive amount of carbon. That’d be silly and, more importantly, not very green.

Besides, the ‘Mucky Grey Investment Bank’ doesn’t really have as much of a ring to it.

So here are the cities that are still in the running at this stage:

Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Gloucester, Hull, Ipswich, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Norwich, Nottingham, Sheffield, Southampton, Sunderland and Torbay.

Interestingly, out of the initial 32 candidates, only three have a dedicated GIB website, and all three are still in the hat: Leeds, Bristol and Manchester.  

Given the effort those three have each put into the cause in terms of creating a specific website for their bid, they especially will be hoping to make it to round three.

Onto the selection process, then. This time, we’re judging cities on their finance and insurance sectors.

Blue & Green Tomorrow firmly believes that the GIB is being set up not only to realise the Government’s green economy pledge, but also to benefit the city and wider community in which it’s located.

Choosing to site an investment bank where you have an existing pool of talented financial service employees would seem to make sense. On the face of it.

However, to maximise the benefit of a new major financial service employer (it is expected to employ around 100 people directly, and many more as a result of its investment), we deemed it more appropriate to site the GIB where there is only a small pool of financial service employees, so that talent and auxiliary services are drawn into a new financial hub.

The new bank acts as a magnet for a new sector, new jobs and new spending in the local economy.

Using Office for National Statistics data, we looked at how many individuals were employed in the finance and insurance sector for each city and, put simply, the eight candidates with the lowest number progressed to the third round.

At this point, you might be wondering why we didn’t decide to take a percentage of the total workforce.

In short, the GIB’s aim is to create new jobs and a new sector for a local economy, rather than cannibalise an existing financial service sector, thus creating stress for existing businesses. Choosing total employment statistics was therefore the best option.

So without further ado, here are our results.

Click to enlarge.The lucky eight, or for the alliteration fans amongst us, the overjoyed octet that passed stage two are:

Brighton, Hull, Ipswich, Leicester, Nottingham, Southampton, Sunderland and Torbay.

Those failing to make the cut include the three that had devoted websites to their GIB bids: Leeds, Bristol and Manchester.

Although a clear frontrunner in terms of its carbon levels – and it should be commended for that – Leeds’ already thriving financial sector means it doesn’t progress. Nearly 25,000 people are employed in the sector and several of the most high-profile banks have regional and national offices in the city.

Similarly, Birmingham’s status as England’s vice-capital means it too doesn’t make it and Norwich, Gloucester, Cardiff and finally, Sheffield, are the others to fall at the second hurdle.

Of the eight that do make round three, though, Hull and Torbay employ the least number of people in the finance and insurance sectors, with just over 1,000 each.

Historically, Hull’s economy was centred on its ports, making it a major player in the east coast sea trade. Whilst this does still account for 12% of the region’s workforce, the retail sector, tourism, the arts, and the education sectors have played an increasingly significant role in Hull’s continuing economic development.

Meanwhile, the South West borough of Torbay relies on tourism as its main source of income.

So that’s round two over and done with. Join us tomorrow for round three when we’ll be placing the final eight under scrutiny for their education systems.

There’s no point choosing a location for the GIB if there aren’t any young, bright minds to mould, is there?

Until then, why not have a read up about the GIB on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) website?

And if you’re interested in contributing to the prospect of a green economy, you can. Ask your financial adviser about the best ways to invest your money sustainably, or alternatively, fill in our online form and we’ll show you how.

We’d also love to hear from you about why your city should be home to the GIB. Comment on this article, or get in touch via Facebook or Twitter to voice your opinions.  

Here’s a round-up of Blue & Green’s GIB location battle after round two.

Click to enlarge.Infographics: Ben Willers. Picture source: Ryan Hyde.

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