Greg Clark visits new Enterprise Zone for the Humber
- Published on Thursday, 18 August 2011 15:40
- Posted by Scott Buckler
The announcement of the successful Humber Enterprise Zone to drive local growth and create thousands of new jobs was followed today with a visit by the Cities Minister Greg Clark
Located on both banks of the Humber, the Enterprise Zone will accelerate local economic growth and create over 12,500 new jobs. The zone will offer discounts on business rates and fast-track planning control as well enhanced capital allowances.
The Humber Enterprise Zone is ambitious and will kick-start the development of a new manufacturing sector in the UK, focussed on the construction of off shore wind turbines. It will leverage existing assets and a high level of private sector investment and require only a relatively small contribution from the public purse to ensure jobs are created in the UK rather than abroad.
With the backing and support of Greg Clark, discussions about the best way to support local growth were cemented by the decision to form a Local Enterprise Partnership early in the summer. Without the decision to forge ahead and establish a partnership there would be no Enterprise Zone today.
The success of the bid has been a tremendous example of the public and private sectors coming together in order to work out what is best for the local area. Greg Clark has been instrumental in this process, bringing all parties together to explore the best options for growth.
Greg Clark said:
"The decision to award Humber its own Enterprise Zone is great news for residents of the area, encouraging new businesses to flock to the site creating much needed jobs and prosperity.
"I've been working over the past year with local business and civic leaders to make sure Humber can take up the reins of their local economy, and the Enterprise Zone is the culmination of those plans to accelerate growth. It shows what can be done when the public and private sector come together to remove the barriers to growth and create the conditions in which enterprise will flourish.
"Never has there been a more important time to unleash the potential of our most important cities as engines for growth across the country."
John Clugston, Chair of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership said:
"Our Enterprise Zone will be crucial for attracting major investors in renewable energy to the UK. By helping us to bring in the biggest manufacturers and their supply chains, the Enterprise Zone takes us a step closer to creating a super cluster on the Humber which will have national and international significance. This would kick start a long term transformation in the fortunes of the Humber economy, so it is excellent news that the bid has been approved."
The geographic potential of the Humber is clear: it is the largest trading estuary in the UK and the fourth largest in Europe, with a chemical and process sector worth £6 billion a year and international expertise in logistics. However, unemployment is high in most of the main urban centres and wages are low. The Enterprise Zone will provide a huge boost to the area and is an exciting development for local businesses and residents.
Businesses in the Humber across all sectors have shown their enthusiasm about the opportunities for the developments in renewable energy, and are determined to capitalise on them.
The Humber Enterprise Zone is one of a few areas across the country that has secured Enhanced Capital Allowances on sites that will provide opportunities for businesses and help attract Foreign Direct Investment building on the key strengths of the area especially the skilled workforce.