The UK's Green Investment Bank (GIB), set up in 2012 by former Chancellor George Osborne to fund renewable energy and low carbon projects, has been sold to Australian investment bank Macquarie for £2.3bn ($2.95bn).

Giving details on Thursday (20 April), the Treasury said the sale would net it £1.7bn outright, with a further £600m in liabilities taken on by Macquarie.

The sale conditions also require Macquarie to retain the GIB name and its team headquartered in Edinburgh.

The government will also be appointing independent trustees with the power to ensure the GIB continues to have an "environmental mission."

Climate Change and Industry Minister Nick Hurd said the government had turned a profit on the deal. "The GIB has been very successful in attracting private capital to the UK's green economy.

"It now makes sense to move it into the private sector where it will be free from the constraints of public sector ownership, allowing it to build further on its success."

To date, the GIB has invested about £800m per year and the Macquarie deal could see that rise to £3bn over the next three years.