LEP Column: From Brid to Hull, effects of the Growth Deal can be felt

With almost £20m released in 2015/16 and £40m planned for release in 2016/17, the Humber LEP's Growth Deal is supporting projects that help to drive the growth of the Humber economy.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 15th February 2016, 5:20 pm
Updated Monday, 15th February 2016, 5:25 pm
taking off: Work is now being done to improve access routes around Humberside International Airport thanks to Growth Deal funding. Picture: Sean Spencer/Hull News & Picture
taking off: Work is now being done to improve access routes around Humberside International Airport thanks to Growth Deal funding. Picture: Sean Spencer/Hull News & Picture

Funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund is being invested alongside other public and private sector funding in projects that will help to create an infrastructure that supports growth by improving access by road and rail, safeguarding from flooding, support businesses by unlocking projects to provide the right office space, build or improve sustainable housing and regenerate city and town centres.

The projects which help to deliver the aims of our Strategic Economic Plan are identified by our partners and independently assessed before being approved by the Humber Leadership Board and the LEP Board.

Ten of the 28 projects from rounds one and two of the five-year Growth Deal are now underway, while in the background we are developing a project pipeline to help us access more resources for the area in the future.

The Growth Deal is a part of the jigsaw that connects a large network of people, teams, businesses, organisations and funding working towards improving the region.

In January, five projects were approved with £750,000 released for the A1105 Anlaby Road/Park Street bridge strengthening, a key city centre diversion route for Hull; while Bridlington Integrated Transport Plan Phase 2 will see £5.75m LGF go towards further improvements to roads, footpaths and cycle access in the seaside town as well as improvements to parking facilities.

Flooding mitigation also featured with the approval of a £3m contribution to the Hull and Holderness Flood Alleviation Scheme, while regeneration projects will see £3m go towards repurposing Hull’s Old Town (currently on site around Holy Trinity church), and more than half a million for an enterprise hub in Scunthorpe’s Westcliff area.

Other projects already underway include infrastructure and enabling works in Grimsby town centre to improve highways and the look of the area to unlock a major mixed use development including ‘grade A’ office accommodation, improvements to Humberside International Airport access routes, support to enable the increasing demand for high cube container freight by rail from the South Humber Ports to Doncaster, and a learning centre of excellence for the ports, energy and logistics sectors – Modal –- the first in the UK to offer integrated logistics training for sea, road, rail and air.

None of these projects sits in isolation; all are taking place alongside wider public and private investment in regeneration projects, transport schemes, skills provision and enterprise zone sites to name just a few.

For example, in Hull, the approval to invest £3m LGF towards improvements to Hull’s Old Town and the planned £4m towards an iconic bridge connecting the city with its waterfront sit alongside the Hull City Council/Wykeland investment to regenerate the Fruit Market, the council’s ongoing investment in public realm and the award-winning Scale Lane swing bridge. Together they will help the area to strengthen its economic presence and play a central part in the City of Culture 2017 celebrations.

While the investment in skills provision to serve the needs of emerging and existing Humber businesses is supported by the Humber LEP’s employment and skills strategy to address the wider needs of developing a productive and skilled workforce in the Humber.

The LGF supported Modal logistics learning hub from project sponsor Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education is one illustration of how the skills team at the Humber LEP are working with colleges, the University of Hull and specialist training providers to develop the facilities, skills and employment support.

Growth Deal supported work at Goole College on workshop modernisation to include a logistics hub and construction workshop and a proposed offshore training facility at Catch near Immingham builds on the work to align skills provision and invest in facilities at the region’s colleges and training hubs that began under the City Deal.

The work feeds into the Humber Energy Campus, a virtual campus that offers the skills support needed for businesses and those seeking career paths to access the jobs.

Flood defence projects will see 62,228 properties and 251,485sqm of commercial floorspace with reduced risk, safeguarding more than 3,000 jobs as part of a £48m LGF contribution to projects.

These are all long-term projects which form part of a much bigger picture of how the public and private sectors are working together to invest in the Humber’s infrastructure and grow our economy.

An investment of millions

The Humber LEP secured £113m LGF in July 2014 to support Humber projects that contributes to a total local investment of £367m across 19 projects.

A further £9.9m was secured in January 2015 to develop nine projects on both banks of the Humber, which coupled with the £37m local investment, amounts to just under £47m capital injection into the area.

A call for projects which ended in January saw more than 40 projects ideas submitted. These will now be assessed and developed further ready for future opportunities of funding.