Posted on December 23, 2014Category: Articles
A Retrospective View at the end of 2014 by Humber LEP Chair, Lord Haskins
We have ambitious plans for the Humber region and 2014 has marked a year of significant progress by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Since our inception three years ago, business and the public sector have moved closer together and the strength of this collaboration is enabling resources to be targeted on specific areas for growth and raise the Humber’s national and international profile.
The core purpose of the LEP’s existence is to drive growth for the Humber economy to benefit our communities, which by the very nature of our geography and traditional economy are diverse with coastal communities, Trentside villages, Scunthorpe steel manufacture, seafood processing in Grimsby, renewable energy off the Estuary, Wolds’ agriculture, deep sea container ports and many, many more. To assist all our communities to grow either directly or via a supply chain, the LEP’s main focus is on releasing the potential of the Humber Estuary by supporting current, relocating and new businesses to thrive, investing in an infrastructure which supports growth and developing a skilled and productive workforce. Working to achieve these ambitions, the Humber LEP’s successes in 2014 have included:
- Securing £104m for projects in the first Growth Deal, which is largest allocation per head nationwide, and we are already negotiating a second Growth Deal. Through the LEP, this money is being spent on infrastructure works in Grimsby Town Centre, flood defence work at Lincolnshire Lakes near Scunthorpe to enable new homes and local facilities to be built, flood defence projects in Hull and East Riding, offering grants to help job creation in the region, delivering and supporting housing in Hull and Brough, and supporting vocational training projects in Goole and Grimsby.
- Implementing the £10m Hull and Humber City deal to support business, accelerate development and improve skills.
- Promoting the largest Enterprise Zone in the UK which spans both banks of the Humber and is expected to accrue £822.5m investment and 5850 jobs. This year saw Siemens confirm its investment in Hull, construction work begin on the Able Marine Energy Park which made further progress in planning,and in Grimsby and Brough.
- Developing a strategy for £87.67m (2014 -2020) European Union Structural and Investment Funding which will support sustainable economic growth.
- Brokering a new deal between the four Humber authorities and other statutory planning and licensing agencies to accelerate delivery of major developments
- Promoting the Humber as the Energy Estuary and the centre for renewable energy in the UK which has attracted more Government resources and private investment to the area.
- Successfully bidding for a National College for Wind Energy to be located on the Humber which will augment our ability to drive the national skills agenda. To date only six National Colleges have been announced in the UK.
- Lobbying hard to keep the Cleethorpes to Manchester direct rail link and for the electrification of the Hull-East Coast Main Line
- Investing over £25m from the Regional Growth Fund in nearly 200 businesses across the region which is creating 2200 new jobs.
- Sponsoring a floods strategy for the Humber which secured support from the MPs and others to influence the challenge directly to government.
Overall, it has been a year of growing momentum whereby we are seeing a number of projects come to fruition and deliver the growth that a Local Enterprise Partnership was set up to deliver. Across the Humber we are experiencing an economic, social, cultural and infrastructural renaissance which offers an unprecedented opportunity to drive sustainable growth and lasting prosperity.