Green bank could make region a hub for renewable energy

THE Humber could be the home of a new investment bank targeting funds at the renewable energy industry as part of a wider plan to make the area a hub for offshore wind power.

The idea has been put forward by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership as one of a package of measures it wants to agree with the Government known as a ‘city deal’.

Last year the Government agreed city deals with the Leeds and Sheffield City Regions which saw significant powers and funding in areas including skills and transport handed over from Whitehall to the region.

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Alongside its bid for a city deal, the Humber is set to become a pathfinder for the broader devolution of funds and powers to regions set out by Lord Heseltine in a report for the Government last year.

Humber LEP chairman Lord Haskins said: “The city deal would be an important step forward for the development of the Humber, building on recent joint successes including the Humber Bridge tolls, the enterprise zones and the Regional Growth Fund. It would speed up major developments and help us to make sure that investors can access the skills they need locally.”

In addition to establishing the Humber Investment Bank, the LEP is asking the Government to hand over part of its adult skills budget for the area and measures to speed up Government decisions on major planning applications.

If approved, the plan would also see the creation of a new board bringing local employers and colleges together to better match the supply and demand of skilled people in key areas of the economy.

The Humber is one of 20 areas submitting bids in the second round of city deals.