Lord Haskins, Chair of Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was part of a special access visit hosted by Spencer Group to Ron Dearing UTC and Energy Works, two of Hull’s most significant developments.
Those in attendance alongside Lord Haskins included Alan Johnson, former Hull West and Hessle MP, who championed the cause of establishing Hull’s first UTC, Finbarr Dowling, former Hull Project Director for another UTC Founding Partner, Siemens, Paul Sewell OBE, Executive Chair of Sewell Group, whose construction arm is delivering the new school and Councillor Julia Conner, a member of Hull City Council’s Planning Committee, which approved both schemes.
Joined by Principal Sarah Pashley and Chair of Trustees, Charlie Spencer OBE, Executive Chairman of Spencer Group, one of the UTC’s Founding Partner employers, the group was given a personal tour of the £10m UTC building, which is nearing completion.
The visitors were given an exclusive insight into the UTC’s state-of-the-art learning spaces and facilities, including dedicated zones for digital technology, design, project development and testing.
Mrs Pashley and Mr Spencer also explained how the school, its facilities and curriculum had been specifically designed with the UTC’s employer partners to support the development of tech-savvy young people with the skills and qualifications leading local businesses need to drive forward the region’s economy.
Lord Haskins said:
“I’m very impressed by what I’ve seen but, at the same time, it’s typical of what’s happening in Hull at the present time. It’s a wonderful story.
“This UTC adds a new dimension to the region’s skills agenda. The key thing is the business support the UTC has got. One of the main challenges of the skills agenda generally is getting businesses involved, but the UTC has certainly got business behind it and that’s a great thing to build on.”
The group then moved on to see the vast Energy Works power plant which is being built on the east bank of the river Hull, a project that is being developed by Spencer Group and is being delivered by principal contractor M+W Group.
The £200m Energy Works scheme is one of the UK’s most innovative green energy facilities and the Humber region’s largest current development. Spencer Group has steered Energy Works from concept to delivery and the company is now playing a key part in its construction.
Lord Haskins said the development was “extremely impressive” and added: “As one of the Humber LEP’s priority sectors, renewable energy in the Humber is fast becoming one of the region’s most important industries.
“Energy Works is a perfect example of our ambition to prolong the Humber’s reputation as the UK’s Energy Estuary for years to come.”
Energy Works is due to begin generating electricity in April next year, using an innovative gasification process to produce sufficient energy to power 43,000 homes by processing 250,000 tonnes of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) annually.