Humber Freeport backs seven local schemes with £25m seed funding in net zero push
Each initiative has been deemed to meet the Freeport’s key objectives, which include maximising the opportunities from the net zero transition to create skilled jobs and unlock the region’s economic potential.
The seven granted funding include money towards a planned expansion of the existing Centre for Assessment for Technical Competence Humber (CATCH) in Stallingborough which has ambitions to become a national net zero training centre supporting 1,000 apprentices a year by 2029.
Others granted support include Humbergate Infrastructure, led by North East Lincolnshire Council, which will provide the necessary infrastructure to develop a brownfield site between the Ports of Immingham and Grimsby.
Also benefiting is Ideal Heating’s UK Technology Centre and wider developments at its headquarters on National Avenue in Hull. The research and development facility will support low carbon technologies, including heat pumps.
Money will also go towards development of a derelict site in east Hull into an advanced manufacturing plant and RE:Group’s development of a facility for the treatment of waste oil on a currently derelict site in Air Street, close to the River Hull.
Under the South Humber Industrial Investment Programme (SHIIP), funding has been granted for new industrial units for the ongoing programme by North East Lincolnshire Council to improve infrastructure at the Ports of Immingham and Grimsby.
The final scheme being supported is the development of a site in Hull for the production of low-cost, zero emission hydrogen.
A Freeport spokesperson said: “The seven projects combined will lever in three times as much investment from the private sector and are expected to create hundreds of jobs across the north and south banks of the Humber."
Humber Freeport Chair Simon Bird said: “The Board is delighted to have approved a total of close to £25m of funding for these crucial projects across the region.
“This clearly demonstrates the vital role Humber Freeport has in securing and distributing significant funding to meet the region’s decarbonisation and economic growth ambitions.
“This funding will allow these projects to progress, creating and protecting jobs, and helping the region on its journey to a prosperous, net zero economy.
“However, this is just the start. Humber Freeport is working hard to attract hundreds of millions of pounds of inward investment and create thousands of skilled jobs.”
Humber Freeport comprises of three defined tax sites – Hull East; Able Marine Energy Park and Immingham, on the south bank of the Humber; and Goole – each of which offers incentives for businesses operating within the zones.
Benefits include land tax relief, business rate relief, enhanced capital allowances and National Insurance contribution relief for employers.
As the largest energy-related cluster in north west Europe, the Humber is often referred to as the UK’s Energy Estuary.
Decarbonisation is one of three key workstreams established by Humber Freeport, alongside skills and innovation, and will be a key focus for the freeport’s work.
Companies that have already announced plans to invest on freeport sites within the Humber region include rare earth exploration company Pensana and green hydrogen specialist Meld Energy.