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The Humber Enterprise Zone, already the UK’s largest enterprise zone (EZ), is to more than double in size, expanding to include additional employment land in all four areas of the region following a successful bid by the Humber LEP and local authorities.

The Chancellor set out in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement the creation of 26 new or extended Enterprise Zones.

The Humber LEP worked with its local authority partners, and in consultation with neighbouring LEPs, to identify packages of land that met the requirements of a new bid for EZ sites submitted in September with the aim of accelerating the development of new employment land to meet the continuing needs of the rapidly growing renewables sector as well as ensuring the region continue to meet the needs of the established ports, logistics and chemicals sectors in the changing economic climate.

The Humber’s successful EZ extension bid will see 14 new sites covering 750.6ha added to the existing Enterprise Zone, which comprises 16 sites totalling 484ha.  This brings the total Humber Enterprise Zone to 1,238ha (3,059 acres) across 30 sites, recognising the progress made to date and the size of the opportunity around the Humber.

Businesses that locate on the new sites will be entitled to a business rate discount or enhanced capital allowances for investment in plant and machinery.  Local authorities will retain 100 per cent of the business rate growth for 25 years, which is able to be used to fund development required on the EZ sites.

The extension package delivers a total estimated uplift in land values of £219,995,055 and estimated business rate retention of £280,412,394. The total value of business incentives offered by the package is £122,036,092 (£99,000,000 in ECAs, £23,036,092 in BRDs).  The extension to the zone is therefore potentially worth over £622m to the local area – before private investment from companies moving on to the sites is taken into account.

The extension comprises four packages of sites:

• Northern Lincolnshire Ports, Logistics and Renewables Corridor takes in employment land adjacent to Humberside Airport, which is experiencing rapid growth as a heliport, and six sites near the ports of Grimsby and Immingham along the South Humber Bank that are part of the South Humber Industrial Investment Plan – a major investment programme.
The EZ investment in this area also links up with projects using £11.4m of Local Growth Fund (LGF) as part of the Humber’s Growth Deal to improve access via road and rail and £30m from North East Lincolnshire Council for the 15-year South Humber Industrial Investment Plan.

• M62/A63 Corridor – Melton and Goole to develop employment land around the Port of Goole and enhance the ports and logistics offers with the creation of an intermodal terminal as well as develop employment land at Melton.
These EZ sites will also link into the Goole 36 investment from the Homes and Communities Agency and ERDF in a £16m port link road scheme and the £22.5m investment from DfT in a Grade Separated Junction (GSJ) to access the employment land at Melton.

• The City of Hull sites cover approximately 80 hectares across four distinct areas in Hull’s City Plan. These four areas comprise of:  The city centre for professional and technical services allied to the energy, digital and tourism sectors; the Birds Eye/Priory Park developments in the West for professional and technical services as well as logistics operations, in the East at Queen Elizabeth Dock and one immediately opposite for the renewable energy industry or the logistics sector and The River Hull Heartlands to stimulate investment in improving the quality and availability of office and industrial space in the city underpinning the central economic role of the city in the Humber.

These EZ sites link in with private sector investment including RB, Siemens and the University of Hull as well as more than £100m of city centre regeneration projects including investment in the city’s Old Town, a bridge over the A63 Castle Street and flood defence work in the city and surrounding region, several of which have been supported by the LEP.

• Able Logistics Park in North Lincolnshire, 497.5 hectare Greenfield site, will be sequentially developed to support the renewables growth sector.  The park’s proximity to the deep water quays offers unrivalled workflow efficiencies.

This investment links in with the £15m EZ Capital Grant secured through the LEP to accelerate development of the Able Marine Energy Park and Growth Deal LGF allocation for £13.32m investment in a flood risk strategy for Lincolnshire Lakes to enable the development of 3,500 new homes.

Lord Haskins, Chair of the Humber LEP said:
“This major expansion of our Enterprise Zone underlines the Humber’s important role in the Northern Powerhouse and recognises the considerable progress the Humber LEP, local authorities and private sector partners have made in recent years in driving the growth of our economy.

“It will help to attract further investment to our area, support existing businesses to expand, and facilitate the creation of new jobs.  It complements the investments the partners are already making across the area and will further contribute to the growth of the Humber as the UK’s energy estuary.”

Hull City Council Leader, Councillor Stephen Brady, said:
“We welcome the news about the expansion of the city’s key Enterprise Zones and we are delighted that the Government has recognised the unique role that Hull is playing in terms of attracting inward investment and boosting employment levels in order to not only strengthen our local economy, but the UK’s economic growth as a whole.

“Hull is in the midst of regeneration plans taking place throughout the city centre, designed to create a legacy that has tangible benefits to the city and its residents, and we know that investment into these key areas is imperative to securing a prosperous future and helping to create much-needed jobs for the area.

“This means that with our UK City of Culture 2017 status and our ambitious plans to deliver world-class facilities such as the Hull Venue and Cruise Terminal, coupled with the combined ABP and Siemens investment, Hull’s core investment potential will be recognised on an international stage.”

Councillor Ray Oxby, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said:
“We are delighted to have been awarded nearly 200 hectares of Enterprise Zone across a number of sites between Grimsby and Immingham, as it will provide a huge incentive for new businesses to locate here and for existing businesses to expand.

“This is a tremendous boost for the South Humber Industrial Investment Plan (SHIIP), which is a major plank in our programme of strategic economic investment in our area. Enterprise Zone status will not only help enable large scale growth in a number of the LEP’s priority sectors, including ports and logistics, chemical processing, renewables and the inter-related supply chain, but will also lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs, ensuring that our growth opportunities are realised.

“Crucially, this administration is determined to provide the right environment for development, one that businesses see as a place where they can and want to invest and today’s announcement will enhance the area’s offer greatly.”

Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said:
“We welcome the announcement to expand the Humber Enterprise Zones to cover our strategic employment sites at Goole and Melton on the M62/A63 corridor.

“Expanded Enterprise Zone sites in this ‘cluster’ will enable us to better meet the needs of the rapidly growing renewables sector and its supply chain, based upon the continuing successful delivery of Green Port. At the same time, it is essential that the region continues to meet the needs of the established ports, logistics and manufacturing sectors in a changing economic context.

“We look forward to receiving more details from the government in due course, and to working with our partners in the Humber LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership) to maximise the benefits this expanded Zone will bring.”

Councillor Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said:
“I am pleased that the Government continues to invest in our area and recognises its huge potential.

“The expansion of the Enterprise Zone is fantastic news and will help attract more businesses and jobs to the area. Already we have a thriving business North Lincolnshire. We are pleased to retain our share in Humberside Airport as investment continues to grow including the recent opening of BAE Systems Training Academy, the new Hilton Hotel and Bristows.

“North Lincolnshire also boasts major developer Able UK that is progressing well with plans to build a marine energy park on the largest enterprise zone in the UK for the supply and manufacture of wind turbines to huge offshore wind farms. This is without doubt a World class centre for renewable energy.

“These developments are creating thousands of jobs and act as a catalyst in attracting other businesses to invest and see for themselves the great potential North Lincolnshire and the wider Humber region has to offer.”

Existing zone

To date the Humber EZ has seen 118 construction jobs and 171 employment positions created with 18 companies located on EZ sites, including E.ON, Vestas, RES, North Sea Services, Beaumont Morgan, Neill and Brown, East Coast construction, CLS offshore, Middlegate Shipping, Nippon Goshei, Marsden Technologies, Cablescan, Supercraft and Black Cat Group.

Much of the job creation activity to date has been centred on Humber Enterprise Park at Brough, Marfleet Environmental Technology Park in Hull and the Port of Grimsby. Construction is underway at Able Marine Energy Park and Green Port Hull which will see totals rise significantly.