Humber Freeport Bid Launched

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Above: The Port of Hull. The area on the eastern side of the Port and above is one of the proposed Tax Sites

This week a consortium from across the Humber will be submitting a bid for Freeport status.

The two Local Enterprise Partnerships of Greater Lincolnshire and the Humber, along with the four local authorities of Hull, East Riding, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire have formed a partnership with businesses from across the region to assemble to most compelling bid for Freeport Status that UK will Government will get to consider.

The region is already home to the UK’s busiest port complex including the four major ports of Hull, Goole, Immingham and Grimsby which combined handle around 17% of the nation’s trade. The Humber Ports play a vital role as strategic assets in the fabric of the nation, handling the materials that supply 10% of the nation’s energy, 25% of the UK’s fuel for our vehicles, almost a third of our national timber supply and underpin the farming, food, retail, construction, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors across the UK but especially the Midlands and the North of England.

As the region producing the largest amount of the UK’s carbon, the Humber has a unique opportunity to blaze a trail for de-carbonising our economy as well as build on the area’s status as the most exciting place for growth in green energy. In addition to hosting the largest hub for the operations and maintenance of offshore wind in the World and the offshore wind catapult in the Port of Grimsby and the blossoming manufacture of offshore wind blades in the Siemens Gamesa plant in Green Port Hull, all across the Humber there are projects for boosting green energy and decarbonisation.

The opportunity to secure Freeport status for the Humber will act a catalyst to accelerate growth in all of these endeavours.

In Goole, Immingham, Hull and Grimsby there are communities with high levels of deprivation and large potential workforce who with the right skills investment will and opportunities can help to transform the economy of the area.

The new Humber Freeport will:

  • Contain customs zone sites all across the Humber including the four main ports
  • Three new tax sites on both banks of the Humber that will incentivise growth in new manufacturing, research and development and green energy jobs. One site is located to the East of the Port of Hull, one site is located on development land in Goole and the third on the Able Marine Development Park in Killingholme.
  • An agreement to complement tax sites by targeting significant seed capital resources to ensure the benefits of Freeport status is felt across all four Humber local authority areas, including at the South Humber Industrial Investment site near Stallingborough in North East Lincolnshire.
  • Secure significant inward investment from blue-chip multinationals with the potential to attract and drive both supply chain and innovation ecostructures
  • Utilise local labour to help tackle the issues of deprivation not just in the Humber but beyond into surrounding areas in Doncaster, Wakefield and Leeds.

No other part of the UK can boast the unique combination of an existing pivotal role in UK trade and energy supply with the potential to level-up and tackle deprivation and de-carbonise our economy through the growth of green jobs.

Simon Bird, ABP Humber Director and Chair of the Humber Ports Steerco said “This is a hugely exciting bid. The Humber Freeport will not only unlock economic growth in our area, but the benefits will be felt well beyond into most Yorkshire and much of the Midlands. Growth will be focusses on business that will help us to decarbonise our economy create a green and sustainable economy for the future.”

Cllr Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council added “As part of the bid consortium, I believe we have pulled together a compelling bid for supporting sites across the Humber that will be truly transformational, and provide long-term opportunities for jobs and growth. In North East Lincolnshire, it means that we’ll be able to maintain the momentum demonstrated in recent years across some of our most important economic sites.”

Cllr Stephen Brady, Leader of Hull City Council, said “The Humber has set out a very strong case for Freeport status that will be crucial to our region’s future prosperity and growth. A successful bid will ensure that Hull is well placed to continue to attract the high levels of investment and quality jobs we’ve delivered over recent years, particularly in the low carbon economy.”

Martin Vickers MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Freeports added “I have long been an advocate of freeport status for the Humber which is home to the largest port complex in the UK. As both an MP in the region and Chair of the Parliamentary Freeports Group, I am convinced that the Humber presents one of the strongest and most obvious candidates for this designation.

“Post-Brexit, freeports represent a game-changing policy to target investment and increase employment in parts of the country that need it most. ABP have developed a fantastic bid to build on the great work that is already taking place in the Humber and I am pleased that it has received wide spread support locally.”

Henri Murrison, Northern Powerhouse Partnership Director added “The Humber is home to a number of the UKs most critical ports, ensuring vital sectors like renewable energy can continue working to power the nation. Its future is dependent on remaining globally competitive as a destination for inward investment, and becoming a Freeport will make a significant difference in the work to achieve Net Zero as a nation by leading the agenda.”

“The Northern Powerhouse, from communities in West Yorkshire, the Sheffield City Region and north of Lincolnshire will see the jobs benefits, and wider work to drive up productivity will give a credible economic uplift to contribute to closing the North – South divide.”