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building our economy

Chamber President applauds Council’s work on economic development and regeneration

THERE is so much going on in Hull at the moment that it’s exciting and truly inspiring – that was the view of Chamber President Mike Whitehead following a presentation at the Chamber’s Hull Area Council.

The Assistant Director of Economic Development & Regeneration at Hull City Council, Alex Codd, gave Chamber members an Economic Development update at their meeting at the Chamber’s headquarters in Hull.

Alex hit back at those who claim that “there’s nothing going on in Hull” highlighting that if you add up all the investment in the city in the last few years it would total more than £6-billion!

He said: “Siemens came in and invested £300-million into the city following years of talks beforehand and part of that was getting the skills agenda right. Now, they have just completed a £180-million extension to their factory.

“Reckitts, a global company, had built its new £100-million R&D facility in East Hull which they could have put anywhere in the world – those two alone are great success stories,” he said.

“The Castle Street improvement project is a £380-million scheme to invest in infrastructure, it’s a five year scheme, largely because you can’t close a dual carriageway in a place like Hull because the city would grind to a halt”.

Alex said that back in August 2021 the Council launched an economic strategy which focused on three key areas – people, place ad productivity.

He also talked about the Freeport, highlighting that all the tax sites have to be within a 40km buffer, but they had negotiated to lose some of the more rural areas which allowed them to include Goole. A steering company was formed with the four local authorities, and the landowners, which sees ABP and Able sitting around the same table, which is very important. The key importance of the Freeport is the tax benefits to businesses.

Alex also talked about the importance of investment zones. He said the council had been approached directly by the Government to put in an application to become an investment zone, but they still haven’t had any direct response to their submission, but there was a focus to scale things back”.

Looking at the future for business support, he explained that European programmes will conclude at the end of this year. There will be a big reduction in funding coming into the council, which will see a reduction from around £10-million to £3-million. It was expected that the LEP would continue and receive some funding, but it was not yet known how much that would be. Devolution issues have yet to be resolved as to whether it will be the Humber, or the North Bank.

Alex told the meeting the local plan was also being reviewed in what is a tightly bounded city. The Myton area and the hospital are all being looked at, and the Western Docklands area is also being reviewed. That’s the area where the Smith & Nephew site is now, but it’s about what happens to this entry point to the city, and there was a shortage of employment land in that area of the city, which may also include the cruise terminal.

It was also noted that the University was looking at something in that area – there could be an R&D innovator hub which would create a cluster effect which could include some smaller businesses.

Alex said the council was supportive of the Hull City Football Club’s plans to develop the area where the club was and he was confident that a solution that would work for everyone concerned could be found.

The Council is also looking at improving the thoroughfare roads like Beverley Road and Newland Avenue to improve their look and image.

Thanking Alex for his presentation, Mike Whitehead said: “It is very exciting to hear all about the plans for the city and see so much investment in the area. It’s a fantastic place to live and work and these innovative projects will only boost that and inspire people to stay in the city, rather than to move away and I congratulate Alex and his team on the work they are doing to make it a better place for everybody.”

Pattesons Glass Ltd
Aa Global
Gold patron
Hatfields Hull
East Riding of Yorkshire Council
Alan Boswell Insurance Brokers
Connexin Live, Hull
Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP
Gold patron
Streets Chartered Accountants
We are My
SPS Group
University of Hull
Wilkin Chapman LLP