Spa town recognised as entrepreneurial hothouse

Spa town recognised as entrepreneurial hothouse

The centrepiece of Hull’s resurgence has finally been approved by planning officials, marking the latest chapter in a bumper year for the town.

With the afterglow of being named 2017 City of Culture still burning brightly, plans have now been approved for a major development on which big economic hopes are pinned. The £310m wind turbine factory, blueprinted for the banks of the Humber, has been given the green light by council officials.

The Green Port Hull development backed by Siemens and the Association of British Ports (ABP) will see a new wind turbine production and installation facility come into operation by 2018 to service the fast expanding North Sea offshore wind industry. The project covers new turbine construction, assembly and service facilities at Hull's Alexandra Dock and a new rotor blade manufacturing facility in nearby Paull, which together would create 1,000 new jobs and several hundred roles during construction.

Hull City and East Riding Councils have jointly established a £26m fund to equip local people with the skills needed at Green Port Hull and support businesses to take advantage of supply chain opportunities.

Hull was recently highlighted as a wages black-spot by think-tank Centre for Cities and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, with 33% of workers earning less than £17,300.

Hopefully the skills training and better paid offshore manufacturing and engineering jobs that come with Green Port Hull will help address this shortfall.

A further boost could also come to the town’s job market, with the council aiming to bring a £17m cruise ship terminal to the Humber. The authority has reportedly agreed to spend £380,000 on initial studies for the project. “It’s not a time to be faint-hearted – this is a time to invest in the city for the future,” said council leader Steve Brady.