Hull has the chance to become a “global force in green energy” after a report revealed 2,000 jobs have been created in the sector.
Former deputy prime minister John Prescott said the report highlights the Humber is now globally recognised in the renewables sector, and the city should “not miss this chance to make Hull a global centre”.
The study by the University of Hull revealed Green Port Hull, a partnership which saw £310m invested from ABP and Siemens into the blade factory in March 2014, has created more than 2,000 jobs and brought £175m in renewable energy contracts to the region.
Now, Lord Prescott has called on the Government to recognise the region as a a major area of growth after it announced an industrial strategy looking for increased investment in low carbon energy.
“The Humber deserves to be at the forefront,” he said. “We have everything that is needed to be an industry centre, and I just want to say to everybody, let’s not miss this chance to make Hull a global force.
“It’s a very important opportunity now to show we are world leaders for growth, and show that the Humber is a world energy centre.
“Two thousand jobs is huge, but it is more than getting them – it is about getting supply industries involved and investing the region. There is a fantastic opportunity for other business to come here.”
Lord Prescott echoed sentiments from his speech at a parliamentary hearing on Thursday, when he called for both sides of the river to unite with a growth strategy, separate to other areas of the North.
He also highlighted the recent recognition the region has received, including a high level delegation from Maryland, USA who are in Hull to tap into the region’s renewable energy expertise.
He said: “We have our second group of Americans here today asking us how to do it. It shows how far we have gone as an area for them to come here to find out how they can be successful in the sector.
“It’s really exciting for the Humber. We are being recognised as estuarial centre for the way we have been able to develop energy industries.
“We have established a good example of governance on both sides of the river, and I want people to take advantage of this opportunity now.”
The Logistics Institute at the University of Hull, a Green Port Hull partner itself, completed the economic, social and environmental impact assessment of the renewable energy sector after investment into the Siemens Gamesa turbine facility.
The report states 1,063 jobs were created directly as a result of the facility, with the potential for another 600 jobs. It also says Green Port Hull supported the creation of a further 1,282 jobs in the local supply chain.
Following the development by Siemens and ABP, £175.9m of renewable energy contracts have been won by companies in the region.
The report also says it has attracted £19m in public sector investment, £115m in private sector investment and supported more than 560 businesses in the area.
Ray Thompson, head of business development at Siemens Gamesa, said: “What the report shows is, despite the challenges, the Hull and the Humber region is on track to become one of the UK’s leading clusters within the sector and with offshore wind set to form an important part of our nation’s electricity system going forward, there is great potential for more supply chain opportunities and further growth.”
Councillor Martin Mancey, Hull City Council’s portfolio holder for economic investment, regeneration and planning, said: “Green Port Hull and the Siemens Gamesa investment have been a game changer for the region.”