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Our two events of the final day of Humber Business Week 2016 saw us discuss the
achievements of the Humber LEP and its partners in 2015/16 and with our
supporting partners – Andrew Jackson, and Bondholders –
bring together national and international speakers on a platform to discuss the
Humber’s role in the Northern Powerhouse.

More than 300 participants mainly from businesses actively participated and
challenged the perception of the Humber. It was the type of an event rarely seen in
the Humber and on par with major conferences around the world.

I was impressed by the quality of the debate, with delegates both challenging but
also on  “self reflection”  of what we could do better.

The overall view was that with a strong voice a lot more could be achieved by
institutions and businesses working together on issues that matter to the Humber.

They wanted an agreed single long term plan for the Humber that outlines its roles
in the northern powerhouse, built on the unique assets of the Humber Estuary. The
Energy sector offered both unique and distinctive strengths to the Humber and a
good base to develop a competitive and productive economy.

The conclusion I drew from the events:
– A single united voice for the Humber was required
– A clear long term plan for the Humber’s economy that outlines its role in the
Northern Powerhouse
– From this we should draw our asks, not just funds but freedoms and
flexibilities and request them

In my review of the LEP’s achievements for 2015/16, I cited the good progress that
has been made by partners working together – the “team Humber” approach of
business and public sector working together has started to deliver the economic
benefits for the local community.

We have seen more jobs created with more than 23,000 extra people  in
employment since 2012 and unemployment levels at an all-time low.

And pilot training schemes are having an impact on the skills levels, more take-up of
the STEM related subjects are going to have long term benefits for local people to be
able to secure the new jobs created in the market.

Business are being supported to grow and expand, through expertise advice and
funding and Infrastructure investments are contributing to taking down barriers to
investments and protecting businesses and community against future floods.

So in conclusion, as the Humber business and skills community, we need to continue to build on our collaborative partnership and deliver the maximum potential for our region. To my colleagues I would say join us on that journey as no matter what the future holds we are stronger working together on whatever challenges and opportunities lie ahead.