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An economic boost to the Humber economy worth over £200 million came into effect today (Sunday 1 April 2012).

A £150m write-off of debt on the Humber Bridge will enable tolls to be halved for cars, with similar reductions for other vehicles.  On the same day, the Humber LEP’s two Enterprise Zones will come into effect, with a package of incentives worth over £50m to potential investors.

The Humber LEP’s Enterprise Zones cover 16 sites, including Green Port Hull, the Able Marine Energy Park, the BAE Systems site at Brough and the Port of Grimsby East.  The Humber LEP is the only LEP in the country to have two Enterprise Zones, which gives it the largest allocation of land – at around 500 hectares – and the largest package of financial incentives.

Incentives on offer to investors from 1 April will include Enhanced Capital Allowances on plant and machinery worth £50m to support up to £500m of investment, and discounted business rates worth up to £275,000 per company.  A simplified fast-track planning process will also be introduced on many of the sites over the next few months.  The Enterprise Zones are designed to attract investment in renewable energy.

Later this year the Humber will also begin to benefit from Round 2 of the Regional Growth Fund, with £25m won by Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council and £10m won by North Lincolnshire Council; and the Growing Places Fund, with £8.7m to be invested by the Humber LEP.

Taken together, the total value of funding won from the Government in the last year to support economic growth is almost £250m.

The LEP and its partners are now considering what bids to make to Round 3 of the Regional Growth Fund, which closes in June.

Lord Haskins, Chairman of the Humber LEP, said: “”From this month the Humber has a large package of financial incentives to offer potential investors on a range of excellent sites, and a skilled and capable workforce that is now more mobile thanks to the reduced tolls on the Humber Bridge.

“In less than a year the Humber has won a Government stimulus of nearly £250m, based on a clear proposition for growth.  That is something many parts of the country would be envious of.  It shows what a united Humber can achieve by working together towards a common goal.  This is a model we need to repeat time and again to make the most of the outstanding potential we have to grow our economy.”