City leaders from the public and private sector are coming together today to launch a confident, new and ambitious economic strategy for Hull.
Hull’s Economic Strategy 2021-2026 – Inclusive, Sustainable, Local outlines a five-year vision of economic growth that is driven by and for the city, its people and its businesses.
Councillor Daren Hale, Leader of Hull City Council, said:
“Hull is an unashamedly ambitious city and this strategy reflects that ambition. Our economic strategy will build on Hull’s successes and capitalise on its strengths; creating a shared vision for the city to own and collectively deliver.”
The strategy is being launched in the new headquarters of global Hull-based company Arco, whose relocation to the Fruit Market area is a major part of the long-term vision for the city centre’s regeneration and investment. As well as cementing Arco’s future in Hull, the development created around 200 jobs during the construction phase and will now provide a major boost for the continued regeneration of the Fruit Market and the economy of Hull city centre.
Thomas Martin, Chairman of Arco Ltd and Chair of Hull’s Business Leadership Board is one of the city leaders from the private sector launching Hull’s economic strategy today. He said:
“This strategy is for the city, its people, anchor institutions, and businesses to own and deliver. Working together we can produce a regional hub for high skills, high productivity, and economic growth where businesses, people and place come together to create clean and sustainable prosperity.”
The new economic strategy has been created following the success of Hull’s 10-year City Plan which launched in 2013 and set out to create 7,000 jobs within the city. By 2020, more than 20,000 jobs had been delivered and in excess of £3.5 billion of investment secured.
In March 2020 just as the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Hull’s employment rates were at their highest, local wages were growing faster than the national average and investment in the city was at an all-time high. The strategy’s initial focus is on continuing to recover from the social and economic impacts of Covid-19 moving towards a city that is cleaner, greener, fairer, and more inclusive – building on its core industrial strengths and heritage.
The strategy aims to exceed previous employment, productivity, and growth levels across three interlinking themes people; place; and productivity:
Improving levels of employment and access to learning and skills
- Women, young people, and minority communities who have all been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 will see improved levels of employment and access to learning and skills.
- In five years, Hull will have responded to the economic downturn resulting from the pandemic with employment levels going beyond previous highs.
- Building on Hull’s entrepreneurial spirit every young person and resident will have the opportunity to learn key enterprising skills.
Returning the city to being a place that is vibrant with culture, enterprise and opportunity
- With ambitious plans for carbon neutrality, the city will be at the forefront of innovative, low carbon, climate resilient development. Making it one of the most sustainable and greenest cities to live, learn, play and work which builds on the platform of work laid by the Living with Water Partnership.
- The city centre’s major transformations – Albion Square, Whitefriargate, Queens Gardens, and the Maritime Project – will be boosted by continued growth in quality workspaces, leisure and retail investments, flood protection and high-quality affordable housing.
- Continuing to push its advantages of being a UK front-runner for both digital connectivity and transport links, the city will be one of the country’s leading smart cities, building on its citywide access to affordable ultrafast fibre optic broadband.
Hull will be a high skills economy – the proportion of our working age population with no qualifications will continue to fall
- Our position as a major port city and part of the Humber Freeport will lead to the establishment of Hull as the UK’s Green Energy City.
- Continued growth in research and development along with Hull’s strengths in advanced manufacturing, trade, logistics, and the green economy will help the city exceed regional performance with GVA reaching £30,000 per head of population.
- Hull’s location will see it benefitting from some of the country’s best international connections, building on its trade and visitor access to Europe. Investments across transport and road systems will provide more choices, improving travel times and air quality as well as promoting active sustainable travel plans.
Alex Codd Assistant Director of Economic Development and Regeneration, Hull City Council said:
“Hull will put its green city and business credentials into practice by being a leader in the cultivation of a highly productive, globally connected, circular economy that promotes social equity. We will build on the wide range of partnerships that exist across the city helping to deliver on the commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030.
“Our strategy seeks to deliver an inclusive economy built on sustainable economic principles. Renewal is not just about the built environment but must include social change, inclusion and health improvements. We are aiming higher in terms of knowledge and quality of jobs and business competitiveness, and also deeper in terms of long-term societal benefits.”
Councillor Hale added:
“Our economic strategy aims are to create a fairer, more inclusive economic growth for all our residents and businesses. To deliver a growing and resilient city, creating and sustaining thousands of jobs. And providing a better future for all the people of Hull.
“Hull will be a place where everyone matters and all our communities have the opportunity to benefit from sustainable economic growth. In delivering the vision for this strategy, Hull seeks to not only exceed previous employment, productivity, and growth levels, but do so in a way with less impact on the environment, become more inclusive for all, and a great place to invest and do business.”