Hull City Council has worked hard to build its credibility and has a clear sense of its long-term economic priorities and how to achieve them with partners.
Hull have been on a recovery journey over the last 10 years and has developed a focus and way of working accelerated by its 2013 City Deal and being UK City of Culture in 2017. The Council has worked hard to build its credibility and has a clear sense of its long-term economic priorities and how to achieve them with partners. It responded quickly to the onset of the pandemic with a 10 point plan which articulated immediate priority actions to support the economic prospects of SMEs and younger people, including grants and support to start-up new businesses and the Creative Arts sector. The City Council is confident about its reputation for delivery and is pragmatic about how and where it can add value.
The Hull City Plan epitomises how the city has developed place based projects to achieve economic regeneration and recovery. There is no Council branding but a strong ‘Invest Hull’ brand which all partners focus around, the activity and impact are engaging and focused on specific projects. Because Hull already had established partnerships and ways of working there was greater consensus on future economic priorities and stakeholder processes to involve communities and businesses. It could draw on its experience of attracting new private investment, including Siemens Gamesa, while also nurturing existing business and helping skilled local workers to move from contracting to future growth sectors. This was evidenced by the opening of RBs (manufacturers of E45, Dettol, Lemsip, Strepsils to name a few of their products) R&D facility in the East of the city. To support that process the council drew on an established database of over 3,500 businesses to communicate its proposals and seek feedback, as well as its existing analytical evidence base and new insights from the Hull Data Observatory.
The emphasis of Hull’s economic strategy develops themes the city has become renowned for: green energy, culture and a visitor destination, including plans to construct a port for cruise ships. The plan also includes new opportunities that have emerged during the pandemic. For example, joint investment with the NHS in local health infrastructure to attract new business to an emerging cluster of leading health product manufacturers and wound specialists. The council already has an ongoing focus on high street renewal and though its Fariness Commission a long-term focus on intergenerational unemployment, skills and education focused with VCSE partners in neighbourhoods with higher levels of deprivation.