City council boss' take on why 'business is booming' in Hull
BOOMING: A Green Port Hull worker
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 3 Nov 2017
More people than ever are now employed in Hull, and more companies are vying for trade.
The latest figures show 120,400 of the city's 260,240 population are currently in work - the city's highest employment on record.
In addition, the figures show a record 6,060 businesses are plying their trade in Hull - 245 more than last year.
Councillor Martin Mancey, portfolio holder for economic regeneration, said the government data for the August to October quarter shows the tide is finally turning on the city.
He said: "Business is booming in Hull. This is evidence of a city that is now going somewhere. It is a clear demonstration of significant growth and potential for further growth over the coming years.
"It would have been unthinkable ten years ago to have seen over £3bn of mostly private investment, along with a significant increase in the number of professional jobs in research and development."
The data also reveals:
- The total employment rate in Hull has increased from 68.8 per cent to 70.4 per cent in the past quarter, slightly behind the national average, where employment rates have risen from 74.4 per cent to 74.6 per cent
- There are just 9,200 Hull residents who are unemployed
- Between August and September 2017, the total number of Hull people claiming unemployment benefits fell by 30 to 6,075
- There are 8,430 places of work in the city - a rise of 235 from the previous year and the highest number since 2010
- 38,600 Hull residents are 'economically inactive' - the lowest figure on record
Cllr Mancey said the council has worked hard with its partners to shed its negative reputation.
"Hull has not had a good image in the past," he said. "It has suffered, not helped by the decline of the fishing industry and docks.
"It has also had a lot of negative, national media coverage, including a spot in the Crap Towns book. That negative image probably resulted in potential investors not taking an interest in this city."
He said a "number of factors" had driven change.
"The growth of the renewables industry has help significantly," said Cllr Mancey. "As too has Hull's location, in terms of its access to the north.
"Siemens has put on record its thanks to the council for assisting them in achieving the permissions needed to set up in Hull. Assistance included dealing with diversions of public rights of way and covering some of the initial infrastructure costs.
"From an attractiveness point of view, property and land prices are a lot cheaper in Hull than many other places in the country."
In August, the average price of a house in Hull was 55 per cent lower than the national average.
Cllr Mancey said City of Culture had "brought a focus on Hull", but claimed the city had "already been on the path to economic growth" pre-2017.
Hull will continue to suffer from national and international influences, such as the collapse of high street chain BHS and cuts to key employers such as BAE Systems, said Cllr Mancey.
However, he believes the city is well-positioned to overcome future threats.
"There is very little the council can do when businesses such as BHS collapse," he said. "Likewise, what's happening at BAE with the job cuts planned at Brough. A lot of its workforce live in Hull.
"But what we can do is provide economic support to businesses and support them to create new jobs."
In September, Hull was named the most enterprising place in Britain.
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