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The Humber LEP has welcomed the progress made in negotiations with Government on Assisted Areas for 2014-2020, which will help the area to improve its competitiveness for major investments.

The second stage of the consultation has seen the Humber Assisted Area map add areas along its waterfront adding in large areas in North Lincolnshire including Scunthorpe as well as across the river in Brough.

In total 8 additional wards in the Humber – two on the North Bank and six on the South Bank – are set to gain assisted area status, including key development areas around Scunthorpe, Melton, Brough and in the Bricknell area of Hull. However, two areas in North East Lincolnshire – Yarborough and Heneage wards – have lost assisted area status.

All of the Humber LEP’s enterprise zones will be covered, allowing the capital allowance incentives won by the LEP for Green Port Hull, Able Marine Energy Park, Queen Elizabeth Dock South and a site near Paull to continue through to 2017. These provide tax breaks for large manufacturers which help the Humber to be competitive. The LEP is now lobbying Government for the incentives to be extended after 2017 as the renewables sector develops.

Once fully agreed and adopted the new assisted areas on the map would take effect in July 2014.

Small to medium businesses in assisted areas can receive larger capital grants for growth projects that create jobs – up to 30 per cent compared to 20 per cent in non assisted areas.

Large companies in assisted areas can get 10 per cent grants for growth projects that create jobs.

This is important for helping our existing businesses grow and attracting inward investment, for example through our Growing the Humber RGF programme and other public sector grants for example European Regional Development Funded programmes and initiatives delivered by national agencies e.g. Technology Strategy Board.

The LEP has been making the case to Government for the Humber to benefit from assisted areas, with support from local authorities. The case rested on the economic potential of the Humber, and the proximity of key development sites to areas of higher unemployment.

Richard Kendall, Humber LEP manager, said:

“On balance we’re really pleased with the progress of our negotiations on the assisted areas which will help us to support more businesses to grow and invest around the Humber. The status is particularly important for enabling development to take place on our Enterprise Zone sites.

“With recent signing of the Hull and Humber City Deal and planning permission for the Able Marine Energy Park, the pieces of the jigsaw are falling into place to make sure the Humber is in a competitive position to maximise the benefits of opportunities in the renewable energy.”