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The Hull and East Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (HEY LEP) has now officially opened its doors and is beginning work on the region’s future economic direction. The new LEP covers the two Council geographies of Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

HEY LEP’s launch will see strengthened collaboration between communities, businesses, the two local authorities and the Government in a true public/private sector partnership, with the goal of economic prosperity for all who live, work and study in the region.

This strong spirit of collaboration is especially important as the region emerges from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with HEY LEP focussing on how to help the region grow a strong and resilient economy, as it recovers and rebuilds.

An initial task for the new LEP will be to create a new economic strategy for the new geography it represents and to establish the LEP as to ‘go to’ organisation for the private and other organisations for support and guidance.

The new HEY LEP also hopes to raise the profile of the region and its significance on both the regional, national and international stage, by highlighting and promoting the unique inward investment opportunities and quality of life of the region.

The LEP will also represent the region’s private sector in conversations with Government on economic development and ensure the region’s influence is maintained at NP11, Northern Powerhouse and Transport for the North as well as looking for opportunities to collaborate on geographical or sector issues with other parts of the UK and Yorkshire.

Last week, the LEP appointed its first Board members, made up of a diverse group of leaders from across local business and the health, education, rural and voluntary communities, who will now begin developing a new evidence-based local strategy.

This strategy will identify the actions needed to boost productivity, provide long term jobs and secure inward investment and government support. The strategy will also focus on the key priorities for funding and the allocation of resources to those priorities, which are the most important to the economic wellbeing of the new LEP geography.

The LEP will also be charged with using its convening powers to bring together partners from the private, public and other sectors, alongside collaborating with a wide-range of local partners to act as an informed and independent voice for Hull and East Yorkshire.

This will be especially important as HEY LEP continues to build on the excellent work of the Humber LEP and further develops cross-estuary working for the benefit of the whole Humber region, including major national projects associated with clean and renewable energy, industrial decarbonisation and the development of the recently awarded Freeport status in the region. This will include managing the Growth Hub business support services and a number of skills and employment programmes, some of which will cover the whole of the Humber region until the contract expiration date.

James Newman OBE, Chair of the HEY LEP, said: “The creation of the HEY LEP marks the beginning of a new era for the region and I and the rest of the Board look forward to working with both Leaders, their Councils, the business community and other sectors to create a successful partnership, which will bring more funding to the region, allowing our strategically important industries and all our rural, coastal and urban businesses to drive economic growth, which will benefit the region and all its employees and communities.

“It will also be important to make sure we build on the excellent work of the Humber LEP and work closely with our colleagues across the Humber Estuary, where our combined assets and expertise are of national importance.”

Councillor Stephen Brady, leader of Hull City Council, said:Hull City Council congratulates the HEY LEP on their official launch. The council looks forward to our collaboration with them and are united in the goal of improving prosperity for all who live, work or study in the region.”

Councillor Richard Burton, leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “The official launch of the HEY LEP is the start of a new chapter for the region.

“Hull and East Yorkshire has a great story to tell locally, nationally and internationally in terms of its economic journey, its many successful industries and businesses and its future aspirations.

“The council is looking forward to working with its partners, through the HEY LEP, to deliver ambition at pace, grow the economy and improve the lives of our residents by boosting business, creating new employment and learning opportunities and ensuring communities across the region thrive.”