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Now that the success of 2017 is behind us, the Humber region can expect further growth and commitment to increasing its positive contribution to the UK economy throughout the next twelve months.

There is little doubt that Hull’s reign as the UK City of Culture will leave a lasting impression on our region, with a legacy that promises continued optimism and potential success in a number of sectors.

For its legacy to be successful, we must all continue to communicate effectively, be it in business, between private and public sector and with our local government.

At the Humber LEP we are committed to doing so with all of our partners, through thorough work and innovative pilots.

With tools such as the Single Conversation Group in place we have already seen real traction and success in supporting a number of major projects since the group’s inception. By gathering statutory bodies with local authorities for constructive discussions and effective planning, in order to improve the delivery of projects at an early stage, we have seen plans take shape on time across the region.

It is with such methods and partnership communication that we are able to begin to work to produce our own local Industrial Strategy, after the government published its White Paper in November 2017. We are planning to develop our Industrial strategy from “bottom up” bringing in the views of businesses and partners as a true reflection on the needs of our economy. Our consultation process is to begin soon.

In the White Paper key mentions were made of our areas, namely the Greater Grimsby Town deal, it is made clear that our region is recognised by our Government, and viewed as an area of prospering growth, or potential at this time.

Other key projects that will follow as the year progresses are a number of Growth Deal projects, with the likes of Stallingborough Strategic Employment Site, which sits on one of our Enterprise Zones, and HETA Advanced Engineering projects just two of the many that are to take shape.

Furthermore, as we address the growing need to increase our skills output within the region, our LEP has being recognised as a pioneer in delivering and assessing skills at a national level. We are the first local enterprise partnership in the UK to have been awarded a national licence, as a Licensed Awarding Body for the Quality and Careers Standard.

With this additional recognition, and with continued commitment to addressing a skills shortage in the Humber, I am sure that we can once again deliver high quality results throughout the year and see more education providers in our area achieve our Humber Gold Standard award.

As always, we will also be holding our Annual General Meeting later, gathering our partners and showcasing our work and plans moving forward.

Each year this event provides a perfect opportunity to bring together our four local authorities, neighbouring local enterprise partnerships and Board members; allowing us to divulge in our progress and discuss key issues for the region.

Likewise, another notable event to mention in this calendar year is of course, Humber Business Week and the Business Day finale at The Spa, Bridlington. Each year provides a new offer and promises to create opportunity and positive exposure for the area and the businesses that populate our region.

This year’s business week will be no different, as we prepare for yet another exciting period in our calendar year. Similar to our AGM, Biz Week is a period of communication between business, partners and our local authorities at various events. We look forward to attending a variety of events throughout the week and I am sure that Humber Business Week will once again deliver a successful experience.

There is much to look forward to as we journey through the year. Our commitment to driving growth within the Humber region at the LEP will continue as our Government prepare to exit the European Union.

As a leader in the energy sector, boasting the ‘Energy Estuary’ we can remain confident in our region’s ability to offer a great deal to the UK economy.

Our relationship with the likes of the Northern Powerhouse and all of our partners can only benefit our region moving forward and I am confident that this, along with the help of the legacy of Hull’s year as the UK City of Culture, will make 2018 another exciting year for the Humber.

Words by Humber LEP CEO, Kishor Tailor .