Humber Freeport tax sites have already attracted £1bn of investment which will create up to 600 jobs across the region, a major decarbonisation conference has heard.

Humber Freeport’s Interim CEO Simon Green told an event during The Waterline Summit that “tangible success” is already being seen at tax sites in Hull and Goole.

Major investments announced have included Finnish company Metsä Tissue’s plans to build the UK’s largest tissue paper mill in Goole, creating more than 400 jobs on site.

At Saltend Chemicals Park – part of the Hull East tax site – Pensana is investing more than £150m in rare earth processing facility, while Meld Energy plans to invest £180m in a green hydrogen production facility at the site.

Mr Green joined a panel of experts on the final day of The Waterline Summit, discussing the importance of innovation and collaboration across the region to drive clean growth.

He said: “The success we have already seen across our freeport sites has been very tangible. Investments totalling around £1bn have been announced, which will create up to 600 jobs in both Hull and Goole.

“Crucially, those investments are innovation-led, from companies across the world who are bringing new skills and technologies into the region.

“Collaboration is a key measure of success in freeports and what we’ve created across our sites in the Humber is a portfolio which meets the investment needs of the region – from advanced manufacturing and engineering to decarbonisation and clean energy projects.”

The delegates sat down for a roundtable discussion at ABP’s Port House in Hull.

Mr Green also praised the collaboration between freeport site landowners who have “complemented each other” and brought forward development sites with distinct and unique opportunities for investors.

He said stakeholders involved in Humber Freeport were aligned on its three key objectives – to drive clean, low carbon growth, the creation of new skilled jobs, and to become a testbed for innovation and emerging technologies.

Mr Green spoke on The Waterline Summit panel alongside Harry Jones, Freeports Programme Director at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

Mr Jones and representatives from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, HM Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs visited the Humber for a two-day tour of the freeport tax and customs sites in Hull, Grimsby, Immingham and Goole.

They also spoke to major investors and stakeholders, including businesses which are receiving a share of £25m seed capital funding awarded by Humber Freeport.

The Humber Freeport Board recently signed off on funding for seven projects across both banks of the estuary, supporting major new facilities that will accelerate the decarbonisation of the Humber, which is critical for the Government to meets its net zero ambitions.

Projects to receive funding include a new Humber Industrial Decarbonisation Centre in North East Lincolnshire, run by industry-led partnership CATCH, and Ideal Heating’s UK Technology Centre in Hull, supporting the manufacturer’s transition to low carbon heating solutions including heat pumps.

Simon Bird, Chair of Humber Freeport

Mr Jones said: “The path to net zero has to go through the Humber. That is not going to change and the tools we have available to us in the freeport are critical to that energy transition.

“The scale of opportunity – and need – for investment in the Humber is huge in the drive to net zero.

“We need to make sure the momentum we have already generated continues and accelerates. When it comes to the energy transition, there is perhaps no freeport in the country with a more significant role to play.”

Delivered by Future Humber and the University of Hull, The Waterline Summit highlighted the Humber region’s vital role in leading the UK’s transition to net zero.

Summarising his thoughts at the panel event, Mr Green said “the time is now for the Humber”, with freeport status providing exciting opportunities for growth across the region.

The Government visit to the Humber also featured a roundtable discussion held at the Associated British Ports (ABP) offices in Hull, hosted by Humber Freeport Chair Simon Bird, who is also ABP’s Humber Director.

Mr Bird said: “The Government visit provided an opportunity to showcase the breadth of inward investment which is already being made by global companies across Humber Freeport sites.

“Freeport status has brought with it a renewed sense of aspiration and ambition, with innovation at the heart of what we’re trying to achieve here in the Humber.

“As the pre-eminent energy cluster in North West Europe, the investments we are seeing in the region align around a key message – to tackle the climate crisis and transition to a net zero economy, the Humber must be at the very forefront.”

The Government delegation was also shown around Siemens Gamesa’s offshore wind turbine blade factory at Alexandra Dock in Hull, which is Humber Freeport site. The company is investing more than £180m to expand the Hull facility.


Author humberfreeport

More posts by humberfreeport