SHIPLEY has been named-checked by the chancellor as politicians compete for a new UK bank’s headquarters to be created in their constituency.
The new Infrastructure Bank will replace the functions of the European Investment Bank when the Brexit transition period ends and will work with the private sector to finance new investment projects across the UK.
Its headquarters will be in the North but no location has been announced. It has been earmarked for an opening next Spring.
Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak was asked by Huddersfield MP Barry Shearman for the bank to be based in Huddersfield.
But it was revealed that MP Philip Davies (Shipley, Conservative) had already lobbied for it to be built in the Shipley constituency.
Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, the MP suggested the bank could be placed in the soon-to-be vacated HMRC Offices.
Mr Davies said putting the bank in his constituency provide a boost following the collapse of Bradford and Bingley in 2008.
When answering questions over his financial statement, Mr Sunak told Mr Shearman the case had already been made for the Bradford district.
Mr Sunak said: “I would, of course, be sympathetic to the idea of putting the bank in Yorkshire, but he was slightly beaten to the punch over the weekend by my hon. Friend the Member for Shipley [Philip Davies], who made a pitch for Bradford. In any case, I will happily hear his thoughts.”
Mr Davies added: “In talking to Rishi I made clear to him the last Labour Government had arbitrarily collapsed the Bradford and Bingley bank completely unnecessarily and this still causes much bitterness. By locating the new National Infrastructure Bank in the Shipley constituency, he could help right that wrong.
“I was pleased the Chancellor mentioned I had been lobbying him and I will continue to do so in the coming weeks to do everything I can to set out the case for our area before a decision on the location is made.”
The leader of Bradford Council Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe called on the Government for “an open, transparent competition for such Government investment”, expressing her intention to fight for it to be placed in the district.
The leader said: “As Council leader I have consistently lobbied Government and specifically Rishi Sunak for an opportunity for Bradford district to accommodate Government agencies and offices. There should be an open, transparent competition for such Government investment. If there were, I’m confident we would have a good proposition to offer.”