Humber Business Week: Time for region to make it's mark

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 5 Jun 2018

THE Humber region must gain recognition among business and political leaders as being “integral to the North of England” if it is to succeed and push forward.

A panel of industry experts kicked off the Humber Business Week pitchside at the KCOM Stadium with a discussion ranging from Brexit and renewable energy to the current digital world.

Dafydd Williams, head of communications at ABP Humber, said there had been a sense that the region had been “left behind in the Northern Powerhouse agenda,” but now was the time to make its mark.

He said: “We have heard a lot in recent times about having a collective voice. The next stage is to get recognition externally.

“We need recognition from leaders that the Humber is integral to the North of England – that is very important.

“We are here, and we have a big message to say.”

The Bondholders Breakfast launched with a series of powerful videos from business figures across the Humber, before heading out into the KCOM Stadium for a sofa discussion.

Panellists included KCOM’s Sean Royce, Young’s Seafood marketing director Yvonne Adam and Dr David Richards from the University of Hull.

The Business Week launch event also celebrated a special supplement  in The Times newspaper on Monday, which focused on the Humber region’s assets, growth and  potential.

Mr Royce, head of operations at KCOM Hull and East Yorkshire, said: “It is easy to forget how rich and deep a history of entrepreneurship we have got.

“Some of the biggest brands in the world started right here in the region.”

Dr David Richards, at Hull University, echoed Mr Royce’s words and said: “Businesses like RB and Smith & Nephew, which have become worldwide names, have kept their roots here in the Humber.

“You forget these businesses have been here for a long time, and they are investing heavily to stay here. A big part of the development of the Humber is about businesses changing and investing back into the region.”

Former Chancellor George Osborne, who is now chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, has also had his say on the Humber region.

He wrote: “Education, skills, connectivity, creating new industries – this is the Northern Powerhouse I envisaged when we created the concept. And Hull and the Humber must be at the heart of this Northern Powerhouse for it so succeed.”

More than 50 events are taking place as part of the  Humber Business Week.

Dr Diana Taylor,  of Marketing  Humber, said: “In recent times, the Humber has seen unprecedented investment and economic development, with so much positive change and opportunity all around.

“We are seeing a remarkable transformation in the region’s economic fortunes and prospects. Now really is our time.”

Andy Parkinson, chair of Marketing Humber, rounded off the event.

He said the future success of the Humber depended on having “one voice,” “big ideas,” and “momentum”.

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