Bid launched to make the Humber Estuary a Freeport

The bid to make the Humber estuary a Freeport has been officially launched today.

A consortium from across the Humber, including two Local Enterprise Partnerships of Greater Lincolnshire and the Humber, along with the four local authorities of Hull, East Riding, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire, has been formed in order bid for Freeport Status for the region.

The region is already home to the UK’s busiest port complex including the four major ports of Hull, Goole, Immingham and Grimsby which combined handle around 17 per cent of the nation’s trade, as well as handling the materials that supply 10 per cent of the nation’s energy, 25 per cent of the UK’s fuel for our vehicles, almost a third of our national timber supply and underpin the farming, food, retail, construction, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors across the UK but especially the Midlands and the North of England.

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A spokesperson said: "As the region producing the largest amount of the UK’s carbon, the Humber has a unique opportunity to blaze a trail for de-carbonising our economy as well as build on the area’s status as the most exciting place for growth in green energy.

Humber to become a Freeport

"In addition to hosting the largest hub for the operations and maintenance of offshore wind in the World and the offshore wind catapult in the Port of Grimsby and the blossoming manufacture of offshore wind blades in the Siemens Gamesa plant in Green Port Hull, all across the Humber there are projects for boosting green energy and decarbonisation."

The new Humber Freeport will:

Contain customs zone sites all across the Humber including the four main ports

Three new tax sites on both banks of the Humber that will incentivise growth in new manufacturing, research and development and green energy jobs. One site is located to the East of the Port of Hull, one site is located on development land in Goole and the third on the Able Marine Development Park in Killingholme.

An agreement to complement tax sites by targeting significant seed capital resources to ensure the benefits of Freeport status is felt across all four Humber local authority areas, including at the South Humber Industrial Investment site near Stallingborough in North East Lincolnshire.

Secure significant inward investment from blue-chip multinationals with the potential to attract and drive both supply chain and innovation ecostructures

Utilise local labour to help tackle the issues of deprivation not just in the Humber but beyond into surrounding areas in Doncaster, Wakefield and Leeds.

Simon Bird, ABP Humber Director and Chair of the Humber Ports Steerco said “This is a hugely exciting bid. The Humber Freeport will not only unlock economic growth in our area, but the benefits will be felt well beyond into most Yorkshire and much of the Midlands. Growth will be focusses on business that will help us to decarbonise our economy create a green and sustainable economy for the future.”