WEARSIDERS are being urged to throw their weight behind the bid to host the Government’s Green Investment Bank.
Sunderland is bidding to host the new bank being set up to funnel £3billion into new green industries.
Just entering the bidding process is expected to raise the city’s profile, but if successful it would boost Sunderland’s efforts to become a hub for low-carbon industries.
Now the bid team is calling on Wearsiders to show the Government the city is behind the bid by sending in messages of support – as well as serving as advocates to sing Sunderland’s merits using social media such as Twitter.
Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson said: “We believe this is a fantastic opportunity to build on the work that’s already under way to grow Sunderland’s green economy and bring in the jobs and investment that go with it.
“We’re hoping that Sunderland people will really get behind the campaign to bring the Green Investment Bank to the city by sending in letters of support.
“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.”
Sunderland City Council is keen to get endorsements from the city’s business community, but council chiefs say support from all Wearsiders is welcome.
The Green Investment Bank itself will create about 80 to 100 jobs, but city leaders say the bid is more about Sunderland enhancing its reputation and seeing growth in green employment.
Many thousands of jobs are hoped to be created in Wearside in low-carbon industries such as electric vehicles and off-shore wind.
The council is due to submit its final bid to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills this week, ahead of the January 30 deadline.
Messages of support can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to Green Investment Bank, Corporate Affairs, Sunderland City Council, Civic Centre, Burdon Road, SR2 7DN.
l Next week the Echo will launch a design-a-logo competition with Sunderland schools, with children in the city asked to come up with an eye-catching emblem for the Green Investment Bank.