SHIIP sets sail as South Humber brand aims to bring in the business

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 20 Nov 2018

A major marketing campaign aiming to attract inward investment and create thousands of new jobs has been launched in North East Lincolnshire.

‘South Humber - Britain’s Best Industrial Base’ will spell out the benefits of locating to the area to an international audience, as a £30 million project to make 500 acres of land ‘oven-ready’ for economic development is launched.

The bold claim has been backed up with research, underlining the skilled workforce, low cost land and transport links enjoyed by the area.

It is part of the big sell of South Humber Industrial Investment Programme, based on these pillars, where it is hoped strong manufacturing and logistics businesses will be attracted to, building on the neighbouring port and existing sector strengths. 

“The South Humber programme represents a massive opportunity,” Cllr Peter Wheatley, cabinet member for regeneration at North East Lincolnshire Council said. “North East Lincolnshire is a great place for industry; the area has a long established food manufacturing sector, the UK’s busiest port complex, and a local skills base that is ready to serve a wide range of businesses, including those in advanced manufacturing. Furthermore, our offshore renewables cluster is leading the UK’s transition to a low carbon economy.

Cllr Peter Wheatley.

“Now we are making sure everyone knows about what we have to offer. The research has been done, particularly on what the area offers to investing businesses and we can confidently say that South Humber represents Britain’s best industrial base. This is the focus of the South Humber campaign offering businesses a dynamic, sustainable and fantastically connected location.”

While food, particularly seafood, ports and offshore wind all score predictably strongly, given the geographic location, at 15 per cent, the area has nearly double the UK average of manufacturing-focused workers, and is 4.7 per cent above the national average for skilled engineering workers. Industrial rents aer 29 per cent lower than those of the Midlands, and 18 per cent below Yorkshire.

Nick Smillie.

Nick Smillie, managing director of Clarity, a marketing advisory and inward investment specialist that has led the development of the campaign, said: “There is solid evidence behind this that adds up to a highly credible offer to businesses in a wide variety of sectors. 

“It is one of the clearest and most powerful industrial propositions we have ever come across.

“We are not just strong in the industrial sectors we thought we were known in, we can be targeting companies in aerospace, automotive, and new technologies such as batteries and electric vehicles. We have port connectivity, we have the land, these are new sectors we can target with the new offer. The final part of the jigsaw adding to all these quality advantages and cost advantages is we are now going to have 500 acres of enterprise zone incentivised ready land, at low cost and high quality. It is all building up into a very, very powerful offer.”

Launched at beacon training facility Catch in Stallingborough, a video featuring case studies from Grimsby’s Ultimate Packaging and Immingham-headquartered DFDS Seaways played out, with respective managing directors Jeremy Hodson and Andrew Byrne giving glowing testimonials.  

It, along with the statistics are to be packaged up and presented as part of a targeted strategy, using dedicated website to push the opportunity.

Rob Walsh, chief executive of NELC, described it as a the “most significant economic development programme yet,” and didn’t shy away from the strength of commitment.

Underlining how the area “now has a story to tell that emboldens people, place and business,” he said: “We have invested £23 million. As a small local authority it is a big risk. There is belief in the level of ambition we need to achieve. The platform is set, there is an obligation to deliver on it.” 

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