The Chancellor made announcements in the Budget speech yesterday that have been described as “huge declarations of support” for the North East Lincolnshire region.
Not only was the Humber granted status as a Freeport, but Mr Sunak also confirmed the government’s plans to invest billions of pounds on development schemes across the country through the Towns Fund – with North East Lincolnshire being a key area for investment.
The Towns Fund was designed to invest money into and boost the economy of towns across the country that are situated away from major cities.
Grimsby signed the Greater Grimsby Town Deal back in 2018, and today it was announced that the government plans to invest £20.9m into the town.
When the council initially applied for funding under the deal, they presented plans which outlined the development of St James Quarter, Riverhead Square, Garth Lane, Victoria Mills Quarter and the Central Library.
North East Lincolnshire Council leader, Cllr Philip Jackson, said: “Whilst we’re waiting for the detail of the announcement, I’m delighted to hear that our Town Deal plans have been recognised in today’s budget.
“We are making a step change to how we build our local economy. Change is not just desirable, but critical to the future of the town as it recovers from the impacts of the Covid pandemic, this extra investment will be a vital tool in making the vision for our town a reality, helping to make it somewhere we’re all proud of.”
Cllr Jackson also commented on the announcement of the Humber Freeport status announcement, after a successful bid which was led by Associated British Ports (ABP) alongside the four Humber local authorities.
He said: “As part of the bid consortium, we believed we had pulled together a compelling and transformational bid for supporting sites across the Humber to provide long-term opportunities for jobs and growth and we’re naturally delighted that Government agreed with us.
In North East Lincolnshire, it means that we’ll be able to maintain the innovation and momentum we’ve built up in recent years across some of our most important economic sites. It really is exciting news and we’re looking forward to working with partners to make the most of the benefits Freeport status will bring to the area.”
The announcements in the Budget today come right after the plans for a £17.3m regeneration of Grimsby town centre were submitted to the Government last week, through the Future High Streets Fund.
Cllr Jackson continued: “There’s real optimism for Grimsby’s future, and having a vibrant and enriched town centre that can serve the whole community is significantly important.”