Sailing towards renewables vision
A FURTHER stride towards the Humber's vision to become the European and UK centre for renewables and engineering has been submitted to the Government.
Business and council leaders have submitted a proposal to speed up the development of an offshore wind cluster.
The proposed Hull And Humber City Deal has been drawn up by the four local authorities and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), following an invitation from Cities Minister Greg Clark.
They are transactions between Government and local areas to drive economic growth, with allowances to act differently in return for improved outcomes.
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The key Humber proposals include:
A new Employment and Skills Board which would set skills priorities for the Humber, based on demand.
Part of the adult skills budget devolved and directed towards priority areas.
Support for local businesses that want to up-skill their workforces.
More work experience opportunities and a co-ordinated approach to promoting careers related to the estuary
Better co-ordinated responses from government agencies to speed up decisions on major planning applications.
A Humber Investment Bank to lend to businesses and support growth projects.
Lord Haskins, chairman of the Humber LEP, said: "The City Deal would be an important step forward for the development of the Humber, building on recent joint successes, including the Humber Bridge tolls, the enterprise zones and the Regional Growth Fund.
"It would speed up major developments and help us to make sure that investors can access the skills they need locally.
"The LEP and the local authorities have worked together on this very closely and very well over the past few months."
The proposals were discussed with Mr Clark during a visit to Hull last week.
The Humber is competing against 19 other areas, with not all guaranteed success.
It had to focus on a single economic growth issue and request the Government to grant freedoms or flexibilities – not additional funding.
Those approved will be announced next month.
Councillor Chris Shaw, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: "This is about building a successful, sustainable future for the whole area and it has been a pleasure working with the other Humber local authorities to put together the proposals, which we hope will allow us to attract further investment and jobs for our communities."
His counterpart in North Lincolnshire, Councillor Liz Redfern, said: "North Lincolnshire has already been awarded the largest enterprise zone in the country in recognition of our potential to build a brand new offshore wind industry in the Humber.
"We are one of the few areas in the country capable of creating thousands of new jobs with developments like the Able Marine Energy Park and the City Deal will help us maximise our potential for new jobs and investment.
"The Humber has a clear vision to become the major European and UK centre for renewables and engineering in the UK."