Thursday, July 25, 2024

Business leaders call on UK government to base GB Energy headquarters in the Highlands

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A group of business and organisation leaders is calling on the new Labour UK Government to locate the headquarters of the proposed GB Energy, a new publicly owned green power company, to be based in the Highlands.

Today, Colin Marr, chief executive of the Inverness Chamber of Commerce, together with: Derek Brown, chief executive, Highland Council; Stuart Black, chief executive, Highlands and Islands Enterprise; Alison Wilson, director of economic development and advancement, UHI; and Calum MacPherson, chief executive, Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport, have written to the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, Ed Miliband .

This comes as the region positions itself as one of Europe’s leading green energy hubs and, following the establishment of the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport (ICFGF), where the majority of the UKs clean energy will be generated.

The letter from the group to Ed Miliband outlined why the Highlands is strategically placed as a base for the GB Energy headquarters.

Colin Marr. Picture: James Mackenzie
Colin Marr. Picture: James Mackenzie

It stated: “ A significant proportion of the UK’s wind power, both on and offshore, and the majority of pumped hydro storage schemes will be located in the Highlands of Scotland. Therefore, following transition, the majority of the UKs clean energy will be generated in the Highlands.

“Our unique geography—with deep water, large sheltered ports, and inland areas ideal for pumped hydro storage—makes the manufacture and installations required for the energy transition feasible only in our region; it cannot and will not happen elsewhere in the UK.

“We therefore invite you to give serious consideration to locating the headquarters of GB Energy in the Highlands of Scotland.

“While other parts of Scotland may present competing proposals, they will be primarily based on current energy generation, not on the generation of the future. As such, any other location is likely to find itself distanced from UK energy generation and associated manufacturing in the near to mid future.

“Locating such a vital institution in the north of Scotland would also be a powerful statement as to how central Government can benefit the whole UK in terms of spend and employment.”

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