Bank chief scoops top accolade

The Co-operative Bank’s Chris Matthews has been honoured with a prestigious Lifetime Achievement award by The Renewable Energy Association (REA) in recognition of his commitment and contribution to the sector over the past 16 years, reports Louisa Keogh

At the REA’s seventh annual dinner awards, held at the Jumeriah Carlton Tower Hotel in London, Chris was jointly awarded the first ever Judges Award with over 200 nominations having been received by organisers.

Chris has headed up The Co-operative Bank’s specialist renewable energy team for six years. The bank, which intends to lend £1bn to renewable energy  projects  by  the  end  of 2013, specialises in renewable energy projects with a capital value of up to £25m which are typically taken on by  smaller  developers,  community  groups and landowners as a means to diversify  income.

Under Chris’ leadership, the bank recently funded the UK’s largest community renewable energy scheme lending £8m to residents in the Western Isles of Scotland to develop a 7 MW, three wind turbine project on the island of South Uist.

Keith Alderson, managing director of the bank’s corporate and business banking division, said: “The Co-operative Bank has made a significant investment into the renewable energy sector and has carved out a real niche in providing expert advice  to  businesses  and communities who want to invest in this type of energy.

“Chris Matthews plays an integral role in the bank’s renewable energy team and has a depth of sector knowledge that I daresay is unrivalled in the industry and is a truly deserving winner of this prestigious award.”