£60m signature on Greater Grimsby Town Deal anticipated today

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 5 Jul 2018

Grimsby’s transformational Town Deal will be made official today, with signatures worth £60 million sweeping in a new era for North East Lincolnshire. 

Humberbusiness.com understands Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry and Lord Henley will formally put pen to paper on the pioneering agreement during an official visit today, sealing the bid first put forward last summer, and adopted as a pilot as part of the Industrial Strategy by the Prime Minister and Business Secretary in the autumn.

A major windfall, the money will be used to kick-start infrastructure projects, and together with private investment, will see Grimsby’s core catch up with the burgeoning economy on the back of the creation of the world’s largest offshore wind operations hub.

Working with North East Lincolnshire Council, Associated British Ports and Orsted are key partners in the deal’s formulation, as they are the renewables revolution, with local authority leader Ray Oxby and chief executive Rob Walsh – together with the borough’s two MPs – pulling together a passionate pride-packed board. It is led by the town’s most successful son, entrepreneur and philanthropist David Ross.

It is also understood the initial ask of £36 million to put the Great back into Grimsby - concentrating on Alexandra Dock’s surrounds, Garth Lane and the Kasbah area, may be surpassed with existing pots combined to make up a super-fund.

In return, the authority is looking to drive forward the creation of 5,400 jobs, 7,700 new homes and a £216 million leap in economic output.

As reported, Cllr Oxby described the Industrial Strategy inclusion as a “hugely momentous and significant announcement,” with the Industrial Strategy white paper being the “first time ever that this place has been recognised in a formal legislative setting as a model”.

Cllr Oxby has previously said the relationship with ABP – a key landowner as well as port operator – is at an all time high, with talks progressing about the prime Garth Lane spot neighbouring the town centre, as well as the dilapidated Ice Factory. He said: “Through our efforts and leadership, and recognising our role as a council as more of an enabler, our ambition remains undiluted, with a real sense of passion for the place, and partnerships based on trust and integrity.

“Ørsted putting its business here, and the relationship we have with them is so important, while our relationship with ABP has got to the level where we are strong partners for the renaissance of the town and the port.

“All of these things gelled together, and came at a time when David Ross was able to recognise our profile and ambition, and decided the direction was right for him to support growth in the town.

“He has seen a direction, talent and leadership he wants to work with.”

In building to what will be a definitive moment in the town’s proud history, Mr Walsh has said that “for too long we wore deprivation as a badge of honour”. Keen to physically turn Grimsby’s aspect around to embrace its maritime heritage, he said: “It is about making a case for hope and changing opportunities over the long term. For the young, it is about creating a choice to stay or come back. Aspiration is the big challenge for a place like Grimsby particularly, not aiming high enough.”

Mr Berry took over from Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy as Northern Powerhouse Minister following the 2017 General Election, and Lord Henley is a hereditary peer in the House of Lords who also serves as Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Secretary of State Greg Clark, has given his total backing for the alternative to a devolution deal, brought forward after the Greater Lincolnshire bid was derailed.

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