By Marcus Leach

News that Business Secretary Vince Cable has declared the UK Green Investment Bank plc (UK GIB) officially open for business has been welcomed by many in the business world.

The ground breaking institution has been funded with £3 billion of Government money and will mobilise additional private capital to make a significant contribution to the development of a green economy.

John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, welcomed the banks' launch, but warned it must support businesses of all sizes.

“We welcome the launch of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) as we believe that it has the potential to kick-start the transition to a low carbon economy," he said.

"It is imperative, given the large level of public funding, that businesses of all sizes can benefit. For small firms, this could be through getting access to green supply chains.

"The GIB must also look at how it can support wider economic objectives too. Investing in flood defence infrastructure or in public transport in rural regions are areas that need urgent attention, and we would urge the GIB to give these areas priority.”

Corin Taylor, Senior Economic Adviser at the Institute of Directors, believes the bank will provide welcome growth in clean energy projects.

“The Green Investment Bank should help to unlock significant private funding to improve energy efficiency and give clean energy projects a boost," he said.

"But even more important will be ensuring that the Energy Bill delivers the right environment for private investment in the renewables, nuclear and gas generation that the UK needs.”

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