Greater Grimsby Town Deal to be made a Government pilot
By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 27 Nov 2017
GOVERNMENT cash looks set to be heading for Grimsby, as the town’s ambitious plans for transformation were today granted pilot status.
The Greater Grimsby Town Deal, revealed earlier this year, is included in the Industrial Strategy, launched this morning by the Prime Minister.
As reported this summer, it envisages an initial five-year investment plan securing up to £36.9 million of new Government funds to bring forward delivery of the key projects, with longer term aims of a potential further 5,400 jobs and 7,700 new homes.
It would be the springboard for a £216 million leap in economic output “a step change to the economic contribution to UK Plc,” according to the submission.
Led by North East Lincolnshire Council and backed by influential town ‘sons’ David Ross and Norman Lamont, as well as senior civil service figures, it has propelled confidence in the area.
And now it is in black and white as the long-awaited Industrial Strategy white paper was published.
It reads: “Towns should be able to demonstrate that they can work collaboratively with local business and civic leaders to develop innovative solutions and attract private investment.
We are working with a range of local partners to explore new approaches, including on a pilot Town Deal with Grimsby.
“Grimsby is looking to a new economic future as it adapts to industrial change.
“There are strong prospects in the energy industry – the Port of Grimsby is increasingly seen as a destination of choice for offshore wind and operations maintenance – and in port-related logistics and manufacturing, chemicals/petrochemicals and food processing.
“The Greater Grimsby Partnership Board is developing a new approach to regeneration that will be taken forward by public and private sector partners to revitalise the town centre, increase skill levels and create new jobs and housing.”
Launching a £725 million programme aimed at making the UK the world’s most innovative nation by 2030, investing to “transform” industries, Theresa May said: “Our modern Industrial Strategy will shape a stronger and fairer economy for decades to come. It will help create the conditions where successful businesses can emerge and grow, and support these businesses in seizing the big opportunities of our time, such as artificial intelligence and big data, whilst also making sure our young people have the skills to take on the high-paid, high-skilled jobs this creates.
“As we leave the European Union and forge a new path for ourselves, we need to focus on building a better future for our country and all the people who live in it. With the Budget last week, and our Industrial Strategy in the years ahead, we will build a Britain fit for the future.”
Part of the paper looks at agreeing Local Industrial Strategies that “build on local strengths and deliver on economic opportunities”.
The Greater Grimsby Project will build on the £20 million Riverhead Square cinema and restaurant development, with a sports and leisure plan for the recently bought Victoria Mills, as well as further land acquisitions to create improved residential, business and education opportunities, eventually stretching to the Kazbah on Grimsby Docks.
It is also working with Associated British Ports on developing Garth Lane, a prime site that has been left derelict for a decade.
The proposals want to ensure that not only are jobs created, but a strong desire to live in the area too, while building training provision.
Welcoming the go ahead, Cllr Ray Oxby, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “We pitched an ambitious plan to central government that showed them who we are and what we can do.
“Greater Grimsby has the capacity to accomplish so much more that it has and by bringing together key people with shared aspirations we can work with the community to build a prosperous future for our town.
“A lot of people have put in a lot of hard work to put us where we are today and my thanks goes to each and everyone one of them.
“Now the real work begins and we start a new era in the history of our area that will see the local community working with people from the public sector, from industry, from central government and others to grow Greater Grimsby and realise its full potential.
“The enormity of today’s announcement is potentially huge, not just for North East Lincolnshire but for other areas who I’m sure will be using our model as a way of building a new working relationship with central government.”
For the last 12 months the local authority has worked with key figures in and around Whitehall, supported by Engie, ABP and Ørsted, formerly Dong Energy.
MPs Melanie Onn and Martin Vickers have also shown great support and are strong advocates for the innovative approach.
Dafydd Williams, head of communications on the Humber for ABP, said: “The Grimsby Town Deal is a fantastic example of how the public and private sector working together has the potential to transform the economic outlook for an area. It's great that the Industrial Strategy has recognised this and ABP are looking forward to playing our part in bringing growth to the Port of Grimsby.”