On the map: Hull's green energy jobs windfall 'by 2015'
THOUSANDS of new green energy jobs could be created in east Hull within four years.
The Mail can today reveal details of a new blueprint outlining how millions of pounds of renewable industry could be brought to the city as early as 2015.
Ten plots of land have been identified as part of Hull’s bid for a new Enterprise Zone along a three-mile stretch of Hedon Road.
If given the go-ahead by ministers, firms moving into any of the agreed sites within the zone will be offered a range of start-up incentives.
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They include not having to pay business rates for five years, saving up to £255,000 per company.
With the 100 per cent discount only available to businesses moving in by April 2015, the scene is set for a period of frantic activity along Hedon Road.
In addition, developments linked to the renewable energy sector will not require planning permission.
Grants for new plant and machinery could also be available as an alternative incentive to business rate discounts.
Thousands of new jobs are likely to created if the ambitions behind the zone bid are realised.
Green energy expert Sam Pick said: “This area of Hull will form a renewables cluster, being home to companies at all stages of the vast supply chain for offshore wind power and other green energy sources.”
The zone includes the site of the proposed £80m Siemens wind turbine factory at Alexandra Dock, which is expected to be operational by 2014, creating up to 800 jobs.
Other sites include a vast 118-acre undeveloped site between Saltend and the village of Paul.
Developer Paul Dixon, who is leading a consortium aiming to create a business park at the former Humbrol factory site on Hedon Road, said. “It is essential the bid of Enterprise Zone status is successful.
“Getting a zone here would be great news for the city because it provides a incentive for new investment.”
Expected to create 300 jobs, the Marfleet Environmental Technologies Park will eventually feature ten new units, alongside a refurbished existing warehouse.
Mr Dixon said his consortium was in the final stages of negotiating for European funding to help cover some of the infrastructure costs at the site.
“We have applied for a grant worth £4.7m, which will be part of an overall investment of around £15m in the site,” he said.
“It is a speculative development but if Siemens do come to Hull then we will have something ready for them if they need it.
“We have already received some enquiries from potential occupiers looking at units of between 20,000 and 30,000 sq ft.”
Councillor Steve Bayes, cabinet member for regeneration at Hull City Council, said: “Having an Enterprise Zone is important because we need facilities and land for the supply chain that will come with the proposed wind turbine factory development.”
John Clugson, chairman of the pan-Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) bidding for Zone status, said: “The whole aim is to get more business into the area and create more jobs.
“With that in mind, we can see the clear importance of renewables.
“We have got to push for this like mad."
Humber LEP officials met civil servants from two Government departments earlier this week to continue talks over the zone bid, which has to be submitted by the end of the month.
They are hoping to get agreement on a zone covering both the Hedon Road corridor and a site on the South Bank.
Hull Enterprise Zone Sites, Hedon Road area
* Green Port Hull, Alexandra Dock
* The seven-hectare Keystore warehouse, Earle's Road
* The former Hedon Road maternity hospital site
* The Burma Drive industrial estate
* The proposed Marfleet Environmental Technologies Park, at the former Humbrol site
* A small site in Elba Street
* Queen Elizabeth Dock - new ABP riverside terminal
* The Rix/Kingston International Business Park site
* 49-hectare site at Paull, east of Saltend
* A site in Valetta Street