The Hull and Humber region is one of twenty areas to be granted approval to begin necessary steps to negotiate City Deal status; it has been confirmed in an announcement by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.
The second wave of City Deals will accelerate the pace of decentralisation and unlock new and innovative ways to drive growth and locally is the result of a joint bid by the four Humber authorities, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Hull City Council, North Lincolnshire Council and North East Lincolnshire Council, and the Humber LEP.
City Deal status would mean decision making powers that currently sit with Whitehall being devolved locally, providing the Hull and Humber region with the powers and tools needed to drive local economic growth and get projects or initiatives that will boost the economy up and running and deliver the ambition of establishing the UK’s Energy Estuary.
The key Hull and Humber proposals for City Deal status include:
- A new Employment and Skills Board which would set skills priorities for the Humber, based on the need of the private sector and on forecast demand
- Support for local businesses who want to up-skill their workforces
- More work experience opportunities and a co-ordinated approach to promoting careers related to the Humber Estuary and in particular the emerging renewables sector
- Better co-ordinated responses from Government agencies to speed up decisions on major planning applications.
The deal would be overseen by a board made up of council leaders and two business representatives, one of which will be Lord Haskins, chair of the LEP. This would give legal status to existing informal meeting arrangements.
News of the bid’s progression has been welcomed by the leaders of the four authorities and Lord Haskins, chair of Humber LEP.
City Deal would be a landmark step area after securing Enterprise Zone status, offering incentives for businesses to set up in the area, and a substantial amount of Regional Growth Fund (RGF) funding, and would help the region achieve its potential and provide a robust response to the current economic climate in line with the conclusions of the review by Lord Heseltine.
Lord Haskins, chair of the Humber LEP, said: “The announcement that the Hull and Humber region’s submission for City Deal Status is being progressed is a landmark moment for the area’s economy and rounds off a year of achievement for the LEP.
“We have really started to build up a head of steam securing the largest Enterprise Zone in the country along with £65m of Regional Growth Funding. We have also helped secure a reduction in Humber Bridge tolls and received national recognition for our renewable energy potential.
“City Deal status will allow important decisions to be made locally through power devolved to the region and aid in the delivery of our five year plan along with our work on Lord Heseltine’s pathfinder proposal for new pioneering ways of economic development.”
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The progression of the Hull and Humber region’s bid for City Deal status is welcome news and an excellent example of how the four councils are working together with the local business community and LEP for the benefit of their residents.
“We now welcome the opportunity of working with the Government to negotiate a deal that will see the devolution of powers and funding to a local level, so that collectively, we can deliver economic growth across the whole of the Humber region and help fulfil its ambitions in becoming the centre of the renewable energy sector in the UK.”
Councillor Stephen Brady, leader of Hull City Council, said: “I am delighted that Hull and Humber’s bid for the City Deal is being progressed and, along with the Heseltine review, will help to speed up development and inward investment. In turn this will create more jobs in Hull and provide skills and training opportunities for people in the city, as well as across the wider Humber region.
“The City Deal is a positive step forward in creating a sustainable future for Hull and the Humber.”
Councillor Chris Shaw, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “We want to make the Humber a global leader for renewable energy and this positive news about the City Deal brings us another step closer to our goal.
“This latest success has been achieved by the four Humber councils and the LEP working closely to put together a high quality bid that shows we have the skills, the ambition and the drive to make the Humber the UK’s energy estuary.”
Councillor Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “This is a major milestone in the history of the Humber. The City Deal status represents a further step towards joint decision making across the four authorities. It can only be of great benefit to Humber residents.
“We only have to look at the progress on the Humber Bridge issue to show what can be achieved by working together.
“In particular this marks a major step toward making the current dream of turning the estuary into the renewable capital of the UK a reality.
“This is true Humber working and a deal for the Humber.”
Negotiations for the City Deal will take place over the coming months and are anticipated to be complete by the summer and the City Deal secured there after.
You can read the Hull and Humber City Deal Expression of Interest here