The Humber LEP has covered the four local authority areas of Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, North East Lincolnshire and North Lincolnshire since its inception in 2011.
However, a new LEP for Hull and East Yorkshire, HEY LEP, will replace the Humber LEP from April 1st 2021, as North Lincolnshire Council and North East Lincolnshire Council have confirmed that in future they will only be full members of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP.
Why has this decision been made?
Government decided in 2018 that LEP “overlaps” (where local authority areas are covered by more than one LEP) needed to end, in order to streamline accountability.
This isn’t what the Humber LEP, Greater Lincolnshire LEP or North & North East Lincolnshire Councils wanted – we all thought that the current arrangements, which had existed since 2011, worked for our areas and would have been content for them to continue. Most local economies have “fuzzy” boundaries; in our case, Northern Lincolnshire is an integral part of the industrial cluster surrounding the Humber Estuary, but also has some things in common with agricultural Lincolnshire, as well as social ties with the historic county.
How has devolution affected this?
More recently, local authorities have been discussing how to move forward with devolution in the area. Devolution in England (outside London) is to combined authorities – formal collaborative structures between local authorities. It is not legally possible for an area to be in two combined authorities.
In March 2020, Humber and Greater Lincolnshire council leaders and MPs met with ministers to discuss how to proceed with devolution. Although the Government’s view was that a cross-Humber LEP and devolution arrangement would be the optimum economic outcome, they were also clear that they would not compel local authorities to join a particular geography. Ministers therefore decided with regret to respect that northern Lincolnshire leaders and MPs consider that their future lies with Lincolnshire and to proceed with negotiations for separate devolution in Hull & East Riding and Greater Lincolnshire.
In most cases, LEPs are coterminous with combined authorities and closely integrated with them. The announcement that North and North East Lincolnshire Councils have confirmed that they will in future be sole members of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP is a consequence of this decision on devolution.
What happens next?
The Humber LEP will close on 31 March 2021. A new Hull and East Yorkshire LEP (HEY LEP) has been developed and will begin operating from 1 April. Collaboration across the Humber Estuary will continue with a focus on clean growth, ports and manufacturing, managing the Humber Estuary asset and marketing the region. This will be led by the Humber Leadership Board of local authorities, supported by the HEY and Greater Lincolnshire LEPs.
Government also plans to give priority to negotiating a Hull and East Riding devolution deal with the two local authorities.
How will the Humber LEP’s services and investment programmes be affected?
HEY LEP will take over responsibility for all of the Humber LEP’s services and investment programmes in Hull and the East Riding, including our business grant and loan programmes. For example, the Humber Business Growth Hub will become the HEY Growth Hub on 1 April and there will be no interruption to its services.
Businesses in Northern Lincolnshire can continue to access the #GrowMySME programmes until they end in 2023; these will continue to be managed by the HEY Growth Hub and Hull City Council. For other business support and advice, Northern Lincolnshire businesses should contact Business Lincolnshire, Greater Lincolnshire’s Growth Hub.
Remaining Humber LEP investments in progress in Northern Lincolnshire will continue until completion. Existing live investment programmes will pass to HEY LEP, changing where necessary to cover Hull and East Yorkshire only. Greater Lincolnshire LEP will take on responsibility for some residual monitoring activity of completed projects in Northern Lincolnshire.
What happens to the Humber LEP’s Board, sub-boards and groups?
There are hundreds of businesses, education and training providers and other organisations and individuals from across the region that have volunteered their time on the LEP’s Board, sub-boards and other groups, or have been working closely with the LEP. We are grateful for all of the support they have given us since 2011, and we know this isn’t the outcome they wanted.
The Humber LEP Board met for the final time on 19 March and confirmed that most of the LEP’s sub-boards and groups will end when the LEP closes on 31 March. A small number will continue temporarily to support a smooth closedown and transition; more information is available in the 19 March Board papers.
What happens to the Energy Estuary and plans to decarbonise the region?
This decision does not change the Humber’s importance to the UK economy from generating clean energy like offshore wind and working to decarbonise our strategically-important industries like steel, oil refining and chemicals. These are areas where collaboration across the Humber has been essential for the progress made so far, and will remain essential for the area to enable the UK to reach net zero carbon emissions.
We are continuing to work with partners to expand the Humber’s leading offshore wind cluster further, attract new low- and zero-carbon investment and support the long-term sustainability of our major industries through decarbonisation. We intend that these areas will be key in the future collaboration arrangements across the Humber Estuary, and are determined that there will be no loss of momentum in the meantime.
Leadership of developing the Humber Cluster Plan will pass from the Humber LEP to HEY LEP, which will host a dedicated team working on behalf of the whole of the Humber alongside CATCH and our industry partners.
The Humber Offshore Wind Cluster will also continue to work collaboratively together under the leadership of our industry champions.
What happens to the Humber Freeport?
The Humber LEP supported the development of the Humber Freeport bid led by ABP, alongside Humber local authorities, businesses and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP. The Chancellor announced in the Spring Budget 2021 that the bid had been successful.
Governance and delivery of the Humber Freeport will rest with a dedicated Board, continuing the work of the Steering Committee that co-ordinated the bid. This will be supported by HEY LEP, Greater Lincolnshire LEP and local authorities.
How can I find out more about the Hull and East Yorkshire LEP?
A new Chair, James Newman OBE, and Deputy Chair, Stephen Parnaby OBE, have already been appointed, and the HEY LEP will be shortly appointing its founding Board and begin setting up sub-boards and working groups focused on achieving the best outcomes for the businesses and residents of Hull and East Yorkshire.
The HEY LEP website will be launched soon at heylep.com.
How can I find out more about Greater Lincolnshire LEP?
More information is available on the Greater Lincolnshire LEP website.