Written evidence submitted by Marchday
Group Plc |
The Green Investment Bank should be located in the
There are good transport links.
There are recycled buildings that would be suitable
for the GIB to put its aims into practice from the outset.
The region is embracing the "green" revolution.
The region needs investment to match its facilities
The North East economy would be stimulated.
Unemployment would be reduced.
1. What is happening in the North East of the
country is a green revolution. The region is at the forefront
of the low carbon sector and leading the way on the energy efficiency
process industry. The Tees Valley is fast becoming the nation's
capital for green energy. There is the prospect of the North East
becoming a centre of excellence for the renewable energy industry,
with world class facilities from Teesside to Blyth. However, this
revolution is one that needs assistance.
2. The biggest hope for bringing Britain out
of the recession; the burgeoning renewables industry, is not supported.
Commercial funding markets are reluctant to invest, making it
paramount that the government moves forward quickly with the Green
Investment Bank (GIB).
3. Along with leading figures in business, politics
and the media, I am urging the government to strongly consider
locating the GIB in the North East, specifically in the Tees Valley.
GIB experts should be located near to the industries that it will
support; at the heartland of the renewable industry. That heartland
is found here in the Tees Valley.
4. The reasons for establishing the GIB in the
Tees Valley are manifold and compelling. The area has already
begun to play a major, leading role in the efforts to reduce Britain's
carbon footprint and create a sustainable, low carbon economy.
It is the ideal location for the manufacture and establishment
of the new generation of energy industries.
5. The commitment to, and investment and activity
in, the sector is evident throughout the region. The community
is working to make Teesside and Tyneside hubs for wind farm development,
with successful farms already operational inland, and off the
coast of Blyth. Green power stations, due to be active by 2015,
are to be constructed at Eston Grange. A £20 million
manufacturing hub for wind turbines is taking shape at TAG Energy
Solution's Haverton Hill yard near Billingham. The EDF Teesside/Redcar
Wind farm project is due to come on line in the next year. These
projects, however, will not come to fruition without further support
6. Everything that is needed to capitalise on
the renewables industry is available in the North East. All that
is lacking is the investment.
7. Manufacturing skills are second to none. The
Tees Valley has a renowned heritage of industry and manufacture;
mining, shipbuilding, steelworks, oil and gas technology. The
technology, skills and expertise needed in these industries, for
building oil rigs and tankers, are directly transferable to the
8. There is a ready-made workforce with specialist
knowledge, experience of large scale manufacture and a reputation
for skilled engineering services to the oil and gas industry,
and now the renewable energy sector. In addition, the Tees Valley
still retains a major and specialist sub-contractor infrastructure
covering all aspects of associated energy industry and renewables
9. This workforce is readily available; many
skilled engineers are unemployed due to the recession, which caused
waves of devastating closures through the North East. The renewables
sector is a lifeline for these individuals, their families and
the region as a whole. Choosing Tees Valley as the administrative
centre for the GIB would provide a much needed injection of public
sector jobs to the North East, as well as facilitating employment
for engineers and workers at the manufacturing frontline through
10. The region has already begun to adapt to
meet the economic and ecological challenges the globe faces, to
deliver high-tech green solutions for the 21st century, using
the wealth of knowledge and experience brought from decades of
manufacturing. It is leading the field in carbon capture and storage,
wind energy, solar power, electric vehicles, and tide and wave
11. The necessary facilities are also already
in existence in the Tees Valley, a legacy of the previous industries.
Nowhere else in the country can boast such a wealth of yards,
hangars, docks and necessary infrastructure. Similarly, there
are first class transport links with two airports, the mainline
railway, good road networks, two working rivers; the Tyne and
Tees, and ports in Redcar, Hartlepool, Sunderland, Blyth and Newcastle.
The transport network and location make the Tees Valley very attractive
for renewables developments, particularly those planned to be
offshore, due to low transport costs and the reduced risk by being
in close proximity to North Sea projects.
12. The region also offers facilities directly
of interest to the GIB itself, in addition to good transport links.
It would be fitting for the bank to be housed in a recycled building
or sustainable location. The Tees Valley is pioneering such developments
and offers a number of suitable locations, such as Lingfield Point,
which is an eco-friendly and sustainable business park recycling
the former Paton and Baldwin's Wool Factory site
13. If anywhere has the expertise, the facilities
and the understanding of what is needed for the renewable energy
industry and the tenacity to make it happen and so ensure the
success of the GIB, it is the North East. It also deserves it.
14. The North East is a pioneer, rising to the
challenges of the 21st century and the emerging markets. It is
deserving of recognition and support. In rewarding the region,
the country as a whole will benefit because a prosperous North
East provides more and need less.
15. Locating the GIB in the North East would
send several important messages. By supporting the leaders in
the field of renewable energy it would show that green activity
is supported and valued, and encourage other regions to follow
16. It would also send a message to investors
that the government has confidence in the region. In addition
to GIB investment, commercial funding markets would potentially
open and there would be increased investment in the region leading
to increased productivity and employment.
17. The future the Tees Valley is building around
the renewables market has the potential to secure the economic
future of the entire North East. It could significantly reduce
unemployment, reclaim the "lost" generation of young
people and stimulate the economy on a long-term scale. The GIB
has the opportunity to be a force behind the North East's regeneration.
18. There is the ambition and capability for
the Tees Valley to become the UK leader and preferred manufacturer
for renewable energy structures. This would ensure UK plc's rightful
place in the development of the significant renewables market
and on the world stage of renewables technology.
19. However, this is not a certainty. Where the
Tees Valley is already rising to the challenge, now the government
needs to. A dedicated flow of investment to the sector is vital
to ensuring environmental targets are met and that the UK break-throughs
in the sector do not disappear to Europe or the Far East.
20. Without economic stimulation and support,
the industry will look elsewhere and the UK will face the ironic,
damaging juxtaposition of transporting millions of tonnes of dirty
steel from one side of the world to the other, increasing the
carbon footprint in the name of low carbon energy production.
We should build British for Britain and we need the GIB to do
21. Where else in the country has embraced the
green agenda, adapted so quickly and successfully, suffered so
much through the recession and fought through? Where else has
taken such initiative? The market has been growing for over a
decade and our European counterparts are well ahead in taking
advantage of it. The North East is the only place in the UK that
has endeavoured to catch up.
22. This is the moment for the government to
rebalance the economy; to have a real green agency with green
institutions. It is also the time to rebalance the country. There
are no mature financial institutions in the North. We feel this
must be changed. There is a gap, an aching chasm, which the GIB
can bridge. More than that, the GIB could herald the joining up
of government and the manufacturing and financial sectors, a bridge
between government and industry, between North and South. The
GIB is an opportunity to make the North a partner in the New Britain,
to showcase and harness the potential found in the region and
kick-start the UK's environmental agenda.
23. Those behind the GIB have a great responsibility
and a great opportunity. The potential here is to be the force
behind the renaissance of the North East and enable the UK to
become a major player in this vital industry. This opportunity
is the 21st century's oil and gas boom. That industry began in
the 1970s and created employment and prosperity across the supply
chain with massive economic benefits. We cannot let the renewable
version pass us by.
24. We also cannot diminish this opportunity
by locating the GIB somewhere other than the North East.
Our local media have supported the initiative. Names
of those in business and politics that have been published in
James Wharton - MP Stockton South
Alex Cunningham - MP Stockton North
Jenny Chapman - MP Darlington
Ian Swales - MP Redcar
The Northern Echo
Alison Thain - Fabrick Housing Group
Cath Purdy - Housing Hartlepool
Paul Booth - Sabic
Michael O'Connell - EOS
Alex Dawson - TAG Energy Solutions
Neil Kenley - Tees Valley Unlimited
ONE North East
George Rafferty - NOF Energy
Tom Brennan - GMB Union
12 October 2010