LEPs submit economy boosting plans

THE Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has submitted plans which aim to maximise the potential and economic activity surrounding the Estuary.

The LEP has submitted its Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) and aims to lead the Humber to become a renowned national and international centre for renewable energy and an area whose economy is resilient and competitive.

The strategy also looks to continue to develop strengths in ports and logistics, chemicals, engineering, food, visitor economy and digital.

Projects put forward for negotiation range from business centres to flood alleviation and include projects on the bridge over the A63 Castle Street, town centre improvement schemes across the Humber and helicopter pilot training base and access improvements for Humberside Airport.

Lord Haskins, chair of the Humber LEP, said: “This is an ambitious plan for realising the Humber’s potential over the next six years, particularly in our role as the Energy Estuary.  We have some fantastic things going for us – land, location, skills and the opportunity to develop a new manufacturing sector – so our plan is all about making the most of those and growing our economy.

“With the progress we have all made together over the last few years, we are changing the perceptions of the Humber to a place that can deliver, can attract major investment and can be trusted to take decisions for itself.  We are asking for Government to back us, as it has done so far, and where necessary invest resources alongside us to help us get things moving.

“We have shortlisted £1.1bn of projects that would make a real difference to the Humber over the next six years, with more than 85% of the funding in place from local partners. Over the coming years we will be seeking Government support to enable as many as possible to go ahead, starting in this round with projects planned for 2015/16.

 “And I’m confident through this and other work, we can deliver a vibrant future for our communities and accelerate development in some of the Humber’s key industries to help us lead the way in renewable and other technologies.”

Meanwhile, creating jobs through the growth of small businesses has formed at the heart of a series of investment proposals within the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding’s plans for growth.

The Strategic Economic Plan and the Local Growth Deal Implementation plan that the LEP submitted to Government, have laid out its ambitions and investment priorities for the next five years including the creation of 20,000 jobs; delivery of £3bn growth; connection of every student to business; and the doubling of house building across the region.

Barry Dodd, chairman of the LEP, said: “Jobs are created by growing businesses. We will deliver growth by supporting our many small and micro businesses to realise their potential. We shall also invest in our leading-edge assets in the food manufacturing, agritech and biorenewables sectors.”

David Kerfoot, vice chairman, added: “We have a rich diversity of small and micro businesses but few medium and large ones so we must focus on growing our existing businesses if we want to grow our economy.”