It was confirmed that the four local authorities on both sides of the Humber Estuary – East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Hull City Council and the North & North East Lincolnshire Councils – have submitted a joint bid, which is being led by Associated British Ports, for the Humber to be considered for Freeport status.
Freeports are a Government initiative to stimulate investment and employment in sea, air and rail ports across the country by offering a number of tax and customs benefits along with streamlined planning processes.
The Government has committed to creating at least 10 Freeports beginning in 2021, with at least one in every nation of the UK.
Multiple bids have already been submitted to the Government along the east coast alone, with Felixstowe, Newcastle and Teesport also throwing their hats into the ring.
In addition to the support of local businesses, co-ordinated with the help of the LEP, Graham is urging the Chancellor and the Local Government Secretary to support the bid.
The bid was discussed at a meeting between Graham and the top brass at East Riding Council, including its Chief Executive, Caroline Lacey, and council leader, Cllr Richard Burton. The meeting also included the Chair of the new Hull & East Riding LEP
Following the meeting, the local MP commented;
“The Humber Freeport bid would be a fantastic opportunity to build on the pioneering work already being done in our region, especially in the field of tackling climate change through developments in hydrogen-generated electricity, offshore wind and carbon capture technologies.
“Securing Freeport status would attract investment and encourage innovation, which in turn would create more skilled, well-paid jobs for my constituents in Beverley and Holderness.”
The local MP also discussed revealed that East Riding Council’s devolution proposal, submitted jointly with Hull City Council last year, has his full support.
The Tory MP is in contact with colleagues in the Treasury and the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government – to make the case for mayoral elections to be held as soon as possible.
“We don’t want to miss out on the opportunities created by devolution and having an elected metro mayor for Hull and the East Riding. It will unlock new powers and funding, with budgetary decisions made at a more local level, and would also mean we have a strong voice championing our needs on the national stage.”