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The Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is urging everyone to have their say on ambitious plans to step up the region’s economy through its Humber Industrial Strategy.

The LEP is seeking to agree its strategy with Ministers, setting out joint commitments between Government and local leaders to develop the Humber economy.

The plans were originally due to be completed by March 2020, but after being accelerated by six months to September 2019, it is vital anyone who wishes to have their say on the Strategy does so as soon as possible.

In June, the LEP published a prospectus for the industrial strategy, signalling that it was ready to start formal engagement with Government on its proposals and inviting local people, businesses and other organisations to give their views on the priorities.  Discussions with Whitehall officials have been taking place over recent weeks and will continue through the summer.

The proposals for our Humber Industrial Strategy include:

A new ambition to reduce the Humber’s net CO2 emissions to zero by 2040, protecting strategically-important industries and maximising benefits for local communities and businesses.

This would mean a co-ordinated approach to decarbonisation across our economy and society, including energy, industry, business, the public sector, homes and transport – making the Humber the first industrial region in the world to achieve this.

Making the Humber Energy Estuary a global leader in clean energy.

Now a major player in offshore wind, the LEP wants to put the Humber at the forefront of the next phase of the sector’s development.  The Sector Deal agreed with Government will see installed capacity rise substantially to 30GW by 2030 and 50GW by 2050, or potentially 75GW if the Committee on Climate Change’s advice is followed.  Most of this will be in the North Sea, with the Humber again centrally located.  The LEP’s proposed ambition is for the Humber to support at least half of the new wind capacity through manufacturing, construction and/or operations and maintenance.

Delivering additional value from the Humber ports and increasing growth from engineering and assembly activities

The Humber ports have the potential to relieve congestion in southern England by handling a greater proportion of UK imports and exports – building on a current trend of cargoes switching north.  There is an opportunity for further development of the logistics sector on the Humber and working with other northern ports to capitalise on new technologies and secure rail freight infrastructure improvements.

Work is also taking place on the digital tech and food sectors, and cross-cutting issues like skills and infrastructure which support the wider economy.

Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber LEP, said:

“We have already had a positive response to our consultation since unveiling our plans in June, but we want to ensure all businesses across the Humber can have their views taken into consideration before the consultation closes.

“We have built this distinctive approach, playing to the Humber’s strengths and looking at where we have the biggest opportunities for growth, through consultation with businesses and organisations in the region.  We hope to encapsulate all the Humber’s best opportunities – but also remain realistic about areas where we need to improve – and can do this best by hearing the views of businesses that operate in our area.

“Most businesses will be influenced by Government policy in one way or another. Our job is to speak to businesses and ask them what they believe the Government can do to help them, or what they believe will hinder them. We must make sure the Government understands the needs of businesses in the region and enshrine this in our Industrial Strategy.

“In terms of our consultation, it is very important not only that businesses scrutinise and influence the strategy – but that the end product is something everyone in the region feels they can get behind.”

Consultation on the prospectus will run until Wednesday, July 31st, with details available on the LEP’s website at www.humberlep.org/strategies-and-deals/industrial-strategy/industrial-strategy-consultation