Investment is key to 'pump priming' Port of Grimsby
A £500,000 partnership investment, used to stimulate Grimsby's renewables industry, is a perfect example of the "pump priming" available to those keen to play a part, senior figures holding the purse strings have told.
Friday's unveiling of the extended lock gates at Port of Grimsby East – made possible thanks to a grant from North East Lincolnshire's Change programme – was the deal clincher behind E.on's decision to commit to the town, bringing 50 jobs and shoring up a supply chain, too.
And with a £10 million Regional Growth Fund (RGF) now open to be tapped into, exclusive to the South Bank sector, and a further £20 million available to all industries pan-Humber, Councillor Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for regeneration, wants others to take advantage.
He said: "It was critical to support the project as it unlocks the potential to bring in highly sought companies that will operate out of the port for a long, long time. I believe in this pump priming, the likes of this £500,000 through the Change programme." Calling on the many representatives from the likes of inward investors Siemens, Centrica, RES and Dong, to home-grown companies, such as Blackrow Engineering, Windpower Support and Lincol, to get bids in for any capital projects on the horizon, he said: "We want to be known as the council where the answer we will always give will be yes."
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The Growing The Humber launch was last month, with Business Minister Michael Fallon joining Humber Local Enterprise Partnership chairman Lord Haskins to kick-start the campaign.
A single working week remains to register interest in the initial call to action for the investment, that could add £1 for every £4 put in privately.
Jason Longhurst, head of development at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: "We have had the first call and the initial feedback is average. We had hoped for more interest, but we will be having a series of calls for the £10 million and the other pan-Humber £20 million. We are targeting more and more businesses in terms of engaging with the fund, and we are keen to secure the commitment.
"It is a big opportunity. As the accountable body we not only have the interests of North East Lincolnshire at heart, but a responsibility to have a big influence on the whole of the Humber."
As reported, more than 300 people attended the launch at The Baths Hall in Scunthorpe, where Mr Fallon described Grimsby as the gateway to the offshore wind energy industry.
Richard Kendall, manager of the Humber LEP, said: "There have been a lot of enquiries from local companies interested in accessing the funding to help grow. We are certainly pleased with the level of response and we look forward to assessing the applications."
The first tranche deadline is midnight on Friday.
For more information, call 01482 485260, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.humberlep.org/regional-growth- fund/growing-the-humber