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The Humber LEP has been graded “Exceptional” for delivery in the Government’s latest performance review.

The annual review, which took place in January but the outcome was published last week, also saw the Humber LEP graded by the Government as “Good” for Governance and confirmation that the LEP continues to meet Government’s requirements for Strategic Impact.

Officials commented on the LEP’s “clear decision making with a strong emphasis on value for money and independent external assessment”. They also praised the LEP’s level of spending commitment for programmes such as the Local Growth Fund, which is higher than many other LEPs. The funds were originally secured for the region through competitive bidding by the Humber LEP.

Meanwhile, there was also praise for the LEP’s upcoming Local Industrial Strategy, which assessors said had been “well received” by Government and was one of the Government’s priorities to be signed off before the coronavirus crisis.

The assessors noted the important role played by the LEP’s Board members, stating that they were “engaged and active.”

Lord Chris Haskins, Chair of the Humber LEP, said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of our annual review. It’s great to see that the Government agrees we are serving the region in an effective way and having a positive impact.

“The “Exceptional” rating for delivery is particularly welcome, and is a credit to the hard work of our programme management teams and our delivery partners – including the four local authorities and other project sponsors.

“The outcome of the review shows how putting resources under local control can deliver excellent results – as a LEP we are able to use partnership working and close co-operation with organisations across our region in a really effective way. This is especially important as we work to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis and plan for the recovery.”

In terms of recent success for the Humber LEP, the LEP’s Growing the Humber scheme has seen 2,830 jobs created through the Local Growth Fund and Regional Growth Fund.

Some of the successful projects delivered through the Local Growth Fund include the Cottingham and Orchard Park Flood Alleviation Scheme, which is helping to protect properties across Hull and East Yorkshire. This project was sponsored by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and also won an ICE award for innovation. This project was supported by £5m from the Local Growth Fund.

In Hull, the Delivering Housing Growth in Hull (1) project was supported by £10m from the Local Growth Fund and was sponsored by Hull City Council. This project has seen over 800 new homes built across the city and has supported 244 construction jobs and apprenticeships over the last four years.

Meanwhile, the South Humber Rail Gauge Enhancement was supported by £7.2m from the Local Growth Fund. This project, which has enabled the port of Immingham to carry as much as 50% more cargo by installing a line suitable to support ‘high cube’ containers, was sponsored by North Lincolnshire Council.

Elsewhere, the CATCH Energy Offshore project was supported by £1.75m from the Local Growth Fund. The project, sponsored by North East Lincolnshire Council, saw the creation of specialist training facilities and infrastructure for the offshore wind industry at CATCH in Stallingborough.

The Local Growth Fund is allocated by the Humber LEP on behalf of the Government as part of its commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.

The Humber LEP’s current focus is supporting businesses and other organisations during the coronavirus crisis. Our Growth Hub business advisors across the four local authorities have handled over 5,000 calls for support since coronavirus began.

Meanwhile, the Humber Economic Resilience Group, comprising of more than 20 business support organisations across the Humber, spearheaded by the LEP, is currently supporting the Humber Local Resilience Forum by co-coordinating businesses who can help the fight against COVID-19 through supplying and manufacturing PPE and hand sanitiser, donate foodstuffs, and provide other important services.

Our Humber Jobs Fuse service is also providing support to those made redundant due to the impact of the pandemic, seeking to match them with businesses with staff shortages in key sectors.

Please note: Under the Government’s assessment process, each LEP receives one of four markings (inadequate, requires improvement, good or exceptional) for the themes of delivery and governance.  This year, LEPs are also assessed as either having “met” or “not met” the Government’s requirements for “strategic impact”. Last year the LEP was assessed as “good” across all three categories.