'Two Jags' drives forward 'Two Banks' message from the Humber

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 26 Apr 2018

'Two Jags' became 'Two Banks' as Lord Prescott urged even more Humber unity at the region’s huge offshore wind conference.

The former Deputy Prime Minister and Hull MP, a powerful force in climate change, appeared on the Offshore Wind Connections stage as a late addition to the packed programme.

Read more: First substation now 'in situ' on world's biggest wind farm

He said: “There are two banks on the Humber and it is important to get the assets together in one way.

"We have a great, great opportunity to develop the Humber, not just for fishing, trade and ports, but at the centre of industries that need to be on an estuary and in renewable energy. The estuary itself is a very important corridor of growth, though I’m not sure it has been recognised by Transport for the North.

“It is happening here on both banks of the Humber. This is a Humber project and we need one message, said by everyone about the future and the low carbon economy. If we do that we have a strong message.”

Read more: Chief's emptying bucket list is a sign of offshore wind's potential becoming reality

Hull's manufacturing might with the Siemens Gamesa blade factory is equalled on the South Bank with Orsted's East Coast Hub leading the way in the operations and maintenance cluster for six operational wind farms and several more, larger projects, still to come. 

Lord Prescott told how conferences in Hull were once held in small rooms with people ‘deciding whether they liked the Grimsby people or not’, and ferociously drew a line under that.

“There is a new spirit, a new time, a new economy,” he said.

Read more: 'Big con trick' claim blown out of the water by Renewable UK at OWC2018

Looking around the new Doubletree Hilton Hull hotel venue, Lord Prescott said: “It is very exciting moment to be in a hotel that is large enough to look as though it is a big conference about a big issue, and to see so many people involved."

He then quipped about Hull's emergence. "We used to think culture was chips and rugby. Now we're going to the theatre!"

It came after a passionate presentation from Matt Jukes, chief executive of Hull City Council, and former port director for ABP Hull and Goole, a pivotal figure on brining in Siemens Gamesa. 

Read more: Triton Knoll's port plans are firming up

"Our ambitions as a city, as a region, are greater than ever," he told after delivering the story of the blade factory's arrival, from despair at an unviable container terminal amid the financial crash that cost thousands of Hull manufacturing jobs to "one of the best inward investment stories to tell of anywhere in the country". 

He added: "If this city has shown us anything, it is that we are the most successful when we are most ambitious and most united. We have moved from an undeliverable quayside container terminal to a £310 million investment from Siemens and ABP to develop the UK's first wind turbine blade manufacturing facility and deep water berths."

Read more: £12m Aura Innovation Centre at Bridgehead business park by Humber Bridge gets go-ahead

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