Public Sector Focus

22.08.19

Generating growth with the Grimsby town deal

Source: PSE: Aug/Sep 19

Something is stirring in the north of England. Philip Jackson, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, explains what’s occurring and how it’s caught the eye of Government and the private sector.

Around 8,800 new jobs and 10,000 new homes. £88m combined public sector investment already. Impressive statistics in anyone’s language. 

What’s probably a bit left field is that this is being delivered in Grimsby. A town in North East Lincolnshire that is probably better known for the decline of the fishing industry in the 1970s or the Sacha Baron Cohen film than the burgeoning town it now is. 

Did you know that Grimsby and Immingham form the largest operational port in the UK (4th busiest in Europe); 70% of fish consumed in this country is processed here; and Grimsby is home to the Operations and Maintenance Hub for some of the largest offshore wind farms in the world? This small part of the world packs a significant punch. And that’s being recognised by government and the private sector. 

And so for the last few years, the council has been working with public and private sector partners to build a new vision for the town. 

In 2018, local growth minister, Jake Berry MP, and business minister, Lord Henley, unveiled the new Town Deal partnership with the Greater Grimsby Project Board whilst visiting the Associated British Port’s state-of-the-art Marine Operating Centre on the port side.  

The signing of the Town Deal marked the beginning of a stronger relationship between central government and local partners to support the regeneration of Greater Grimsby. 

Highlighted in the government’s Industrial Strategy, the Town Deal will give Grimsby major investment to improve key roads and establish Enterprise Zones which will attract and support businesses to the area, increasing further investment and employment. 

The deal recognises a new kind of commitment from government to work hand-in-hand with local communities which have strong local partnerships, ambition, and a commitment to regenerate their areas. 

It offers the opportunity to deliver inclusive growth and affords a unique opportunity to demonstrate how places can realise their potential. 

And it puts skilled jobs and education at its heart, driving growth, productivity and boosting earning power across the region.  

Just a few of the projects already on the cards as part of the deal include: 

  • A new OnSide Youth Zone in one of the most deprived areas of the UK, providing a hub for activities and support for the area’s young people.
  • Plans for a new university campus in the centre of the town.
  • Major road infrastructure improvements to connect to key South Humber Industrial Investment Programme Enterprise Zone sites and to relieve traffic on the congested A180.
  • Redevelopment of derelict buildings, breathing new life into the town – working with government expertise and support including through Homes England and Historic England’s Heritage Action Zone initiative to help develop the housing and town centre with a focus on heritage-led regeneration. 

The projects announced in July this year are the first physical elements of the Town Deal being progressed in the short-term. 

This phase will present opportunities for joint-working, including developing new models of community action, identifying ways in which social impact investment can fund projects, creating community hubs, improving the offer for young people and making the most of community assets. 

But we’re in it for the long-term, not providing short-term fixes. The impressive statistics at the start of this piece won’t happen overnight. They’re part of our vision for 2032. 

The Town Deal is acting as a catalyst to unlock a much wider regeneration programme for Grimsby and the Borough of North East Lincolnshire. It brings local partners together to approach skills, education, economic growth, housing, culture and heritage regeneration in ways that we’ve not experienced before. Working with our partners, we will help local people once again be proud of where they live. 

The once-in-a-generation deal is a new way of working with partners to get things moving. The time for talk is over. We now have a real job on to deliver Grimsby’s Town Deal and put the Great back in Grimsby.

For more information

W: www.nelincs.gov.uk

Tw: @NELCouncil

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