Deputy PM Nick Clegg: Humber region in the running for City Deal status
THE Humber region is one of 20 areas to be granted approval to start negotiations for City Deal status; Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has confirmed.
The second wave of City Deals will accelerate the pace of decentralisation and unlock new and innovative ways to drive growth locally, as reported on www.thisisgrimsby. co.uk
It is the result of a joint bid by the four Humber authorities and the local enterprise partnership, and would see some Whitehall decision-making powers devolved locally.
This would provide the tools to drive economic growth and deliver on the ambition of establishing the Humber as the UK’s Energy Estuary.
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Humber LEP chair Lord Haskins said: “This is a landmark moment for the area’s economy.
“We have started to build up a head of steam, securing the largest enterprise zone in the country along with £65 million of Regional Growth Funding.
“We have also helped secure a reduction in Humber Bridge tolls and received national recognition for 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.”
The deal would be overseen by a board made up of council leaders and two business representatives, one of which will be Lord Haskins. This would give legal status to existing informal meeting arrangements.
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.”
Negotiations for the City Deal will take place over the coming months and are anticipated to be complete by the summer.
Councillor Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “This is a major milestone in the history of the Humber; it can only be of great benefit to Humber residents.”
The key 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.