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As the devolution debate continues it is essential we do not lose the momentum or focus on growing the Humber economy.

Which is why we are pleased to welcome the significant extension to our Enterprise Zone, and our contribution (subject to EU funds) to the £400m Northern Powerhouse that will benefit small businesses through an investment fund, set out by the Chancellor in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement.

In these times of uncertainty around how the devolved power model might look, plus a changing landscape in which some multinationals such as those linked to the oil and steel industries are going through harder times, coupled with a decrease in public sector funding, the Humber LEP’s role as a public, private sector partnership is more crucial than ever to drive the economic growth of the region.

This major expansion of our Enterprise Zone, more than doubling in size, 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 driving the growth of our economy.

The expansion includes additional employment land in all four local authority areas including next to ports including Grimsby, Immingham, Melton and Goole as well as Able Logistics Park, Humberside Airport and packages of development land across Hull helping us towards our strategic aim of creating an infrastructure that supports growth.

The move, which recognises the size of the opportunity around the Humber, is aimed at accelerating the development of new employment land to meet the continuing needs of the rapidly growing renewables sector, as well as continue to meet the needs of the established ports, logistics and chemicals sectors. It will see 14 new sites covering 750.6ha added to the existing Enterprise Zone, which comprises 16 sites totalling 484ha.

To aid the development of the sites, the region will retain 100 per cent of the business rate growth for 25 years to reinvest and create the infrastructure to support investment. 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, which will help to attract businesses to the sites which in turn will support in the creation of jobs.

Between the estimated uplift in land values of £219,995,055, business rate retention of £280,412,394 and value of business incentives offered by the package is £122,036,092 makes a potential package value of £622m to the local area – not including any private investment from companies moving on to the sites.

We must continue to work together to use this to attract further investment to our area, support existing businesses to expand, facilitate the creation of new jobs and compliment investments partners are already making to help grow the Humber as the UK’s energy estuary.

The EZ works alongside other investment in the Humber’s infrastructure to help businesses to thrive in the region.

For example sites in Northern Lincolnshire Ports, Logistics and Renewables Corridor takes in employment land adjacent to Humberside Airport and six sites near the ports of Grimsby and Immingham along the South Humber Bank are linked to projects that increases attractiveness of development sites through investments in environmental mitigation, access and road network using £11.4m of Local Growth Fund (LGF) and £30m and from North East Lincolnshire Council for the 15-year South Humber Industrial Investment Plan.

While the new sites on the M62/A63 Corridor to develop employment land around Melton and the Port of Goole with the creation of an intermodal terminal links to 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) at Melton which will bring large development sites to market.

In Hull sites including Birds Eye/Priory Park developments in the West, Queen Elizabeth Dock in the east, sites along the River Hull and city centre are linked to 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, 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 sector and is linked to nearby investment of £15m Government grant 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.

Together as a partnership we must continue to harness these incentives and investments for the benefit of our communities and continually increase our contribution to the Northern Powerhouse and UK economy.

EZ to date

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, the now full 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.

Keely Lead

Keely is responsible for the LEP’s media and public relations activity, events, communication channels and communications with our stakeholders.