Cheshire West and Chester Council is bidding to bring the Government’s Green Investment Bank to Chester.

The Green Investment Bank (GIB) is the world’s first investment bank dedicated to greening the economy and promoting economic growth for UK businesses at home and abroad.

Designed to accelerate private sector investment in the UK’s transition to a green economy, the bank will offer grants from over £3billion of funds before 2015 and create 50 to 70 jobs in the area.

Leader of the Council, Cllr Mike Jones, said: “Chester is already a hotspot of knowledge and expertise in financial services, renewables and energy and has a skilled workforce that is ready to go.

“That, coupled with our plans for a Central Business District close to the railway station, means that we have a uniquely skilled and established infrastructure that matches the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ requirements for the GIB.

“With hourly services from the railway station to London we can bring the bank close the financial world, whilst offering the great quality of life available in Cheshire.”

Building on the city’s impressive track record in leading the way for financial service products and banks for over two decades, the Council is now looking to local businesses to throw their support behind the project.

Executive Member for Prosperity, Councillor Herbert Manley, said: “We are looking for businesses across Cheshire to endorse our plans to bring the Green Investment Bank to Chester.

“Bringing the GIB to Chester could have a tremendous impact on local businesses, giving them access to supply chains, helping to grow businesses within the financial and environmental areas and increasing access to specialist skilled staff.

“This is about putting Chester on the map in terms of financial and environmental services and many established and new local businesses looking to move into these sectors could benefit greatly from having the largest grant funding available on our doorstep.”

The first priority sectors for the Bank, subject to approval by the European Commission, are:

  • offshore wind power generation
  • commercial and industrial waste processing and recycling
  • energy from waste generation
  • non-domestic energy efficiency
  • support for the Green Deal.

The current criteria say that the location should:

  • Be able to recruit and retain the specialist staff needed to run the organisation
  • Enable the GIB to work closely with other parties involved in deals as well as other investment bodies, project developers and green technology providers
  • Be in a location that provides good value for money, to ensure that the GIB is cost effective.

The Government’s Property Unit will draw a short list in February followed by location visits with a final location decision expected April 2012.