My Liberal Democrat government colleague Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury,came to Bristol today to announce £7million government grant support for Bristol Green Capital 2015. I lobbied colleagues in the Treasury and Department of Energy & Climate Change for the money and the scale of the award will make a huge difference to the programme of work next year. It should also act as a powerful lever for further financial support from business.
The preparations for the project are now off to a flying start. But it’s important to acknowledge that a huge amount of partnership working has got us this far. The decision to bid for the status was made by my Lib Dem colleagues when we ran Bristol City Council. The bids to the European Union have been supported by a fantastic coalition of Bristol businesses and campaign groups. Political support has come at all levels, not just from myself but also the Deputy Prime Minister (who recorded a multiple-language video as part of the pitch) and Graham Watson MEP. Now that we’ve won the status for 2015 I hope everyone in Bristol gets behind the project.
I think the status will bring huge benefits to the city but it is vital that all Bristolians, in every community, feel the benefit next year and enjoy the legacy in years ahead. In particular I want everyone to know how they can reduce their energy bills, helping household budgets, better health outcomes and a lower carbon footprint for Bristol. People will also benefit if the low carbon industry develops to an even greater extent, leading to more jobs.
Green Capital 2015 will place Bristol at the centre of European debate on how to tackle climate change and live more sustainable lives. It’s a huge opportunity for our city and I look forward to all the events and activities that lie ahead.
UPDATE 8 AUGUST 2014
The £7m govt money I secured was meant to give decision making security for the Green Capital board and also to help them unlock major sponsorship opportunities from the private business sector. I’m delighted that First Group and KPMG have announced support today –http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Major-firms-sign-support-Green-Capital-2015/story-22216957-detail/story.html
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