We’ve joined hundreds of organisations to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Humber Business Week.

On day three of Business Week, attention turned to the role of Humber Freeport in attracting significant investment, driving innovation and developing skills in the region.

Our CEO Simon Green joined a panel of leading business figures at “Question Time” – a debate which focused on the biggest issues and talking points in the Humber.

Hosted by Andrew Jackson Solicitors, conversation ranged from devolution and decarbonisation, to skills and social mobility. The looming General Election provided a thought-provoking backdrop, as anticipation builds for July 4th.

Joining Mr Green on the panel were Dr Diana Taylor, Managing Director at Future Humber, Jo Barnes, Managing Director of Sewell Estates and a Humber Freeport board member, and James Doyle, Group Managing Director at Rix Group.

Mr Green said: “The Humber’s time is now. Investment is flowing into the energy sector and, as the UK’s Energy Estuary, our region must be at the very heart of that industrial transition.

“As a Freeport, we can help open doors and unlock opportunities for investors. We have the tax sites in the region, and the land available, to drive significant investment and growth, which in turn supports skills, employment and innovation.

“The big tectonic plates are all moving in our direction, and it feels like we are on the cusp of greatness in the Humber. We need to ensure we are all aligned and collaborating to seize this huge opportunity which is before us.”

Dr Taylor echoed Mr Green’s words that the time for the Humber is now, and that a cross-sector approach is essential to reap and maximise rewards.

“We are a global leader in offshore wind, but that won’t remain the case unless we stitch together all the other things that are so important – whether that’s skills, infrastructure, connectivity or people,” she said.

“Whether you like it or not, we are competing to retain talent in our region. We must move at pace and make things happen for ourselves.”

Hot on the heels of the Question Time panel was our Innovation Liaison Group business engagement event, held at the Aura Innovation Centre at Bridgehead business parkin Hessle.

Humber Freeport Chair Simon Bird opened the event, before joining a line-up of speakers representing Siemens Energy, the Universities of Hull and Lincoln, the HEY Business, Growth and Skills Hub and Liquid Wind, a leading developer of commercial-scale electrofuel facilities.

Our Innovation Liaison Group works with businesses to support them on areas ranging from R&D and technology advice to knowledge transfer and access to finance.

The engagement event gave businesses the chance to tell us what matters most to them when it comes to innovation, and what support they need to unlock exciting growth opportunities and new technologies.

Mr Bird said: “We must adopt a truly pan-Humber approach when it comes to innovation.

“Our Innovation Liaison Group is represented by all three sectors, spanning industry, government and academia – it is that triple helix model which will unlock significant investment in our region, and the cutting-edge technologies which set us apart as a leader in clean growth.

“Now is the time to fight our corner and make sure everyone knows that the Humber is the place to invest, work and live in. The Humber is the economic driver for our region, that much is very clear.”

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Humber Business Week 2024 – a true celebration of business and enterprise in all corners of our region.


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