The Leader of the Council – Regeneration Cabinet Member – Minutes – 14 July 2011

1  (1)  REGIONAL GROWTH FUND – The Head Regeneration and Planning submitted a report seeking approval to submit a bid on behalf of the Task Force for North Lincolnshire Council and for the council to act as the accountable body for the programme to the Regional Growth Fund. The report also requested support for the Regional Growth Fund bid for the South Humber Bank being submitted by Able UK Limited.

The Coalition Government developed the Regional Growth Fund to “create a fairer and more balanced economy, which was not so dependent on a narrow range of economic sectors, and where new businesses and economic opportunities were more evenly shared between regions and industries”. The fund had replaced monies that were previously given to the Regional Development Agencies (eg Yorkshire Forward) to support economic opportunities.

Following the announcement by TaTa steel at the end of May 2011 to make 1,200 redundancies at the Scunthorpe works, a Task Force was formed to support the company, employees and the local economy.  As part of this process it was agreed to develop a Regional Growth Fund (RGF) bid that would provide immediate impact and medium to longer term opportunities. A programme bid was in development that would demonstrate a clear over-arching investment strategy across the North Lincolnshire area that would create sustainable private sector jobs and business/sector growth.  It was anticipated that the programme would address the challenge, change and opportunities that the area would encounter following the impact of the redundancies on the local economy.

Resolved – (a)  That the submission of the RGF Bid for North Lincolnshire and for the Council to act as accountable body be approved, and (b) that the RGF bid by Able UK Limited for the South Humber Bank be supported. 

2  (2)  HUMBER ENTERPRISE ZONE – The Head of Regeneration and Planning submitted a report seeking approval to submit an Enterprise Zone (EZ) proposal at the South Humber Gateway for endorsement by the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership. 

Central Government announced at the last Budget that 21 Enterprise Zones (EZ’s) would be established in England. It was explained that applications for Enterprise Zones could only be made through approved Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). Government announced a ‘first wave’ of EZ’s for 11 of the established LEPs and had also announced a competition to find the location for the next 10 zones. The EZ’s would be awarded to those sites that offered the best potential for growth. 

The benefits of Enterprise Zone designation included rate relief; capital tax allowances and simplified planning procedures for those companies moving into them. Applications for the second round of Enterprise Zones needed to be submitted by 30 June 2011 and the council was working with the Humber LEP to submit a Humber wide proposal. 

It was considered that North Lincolnshire had the greatest potential to deliver new jobs and growth in the region within the renewable sector. Proposals would be submitted on the South Humber Bank for the largest offshore wind park in Europe. It was anticipated that this £600m development alone could provide over 5,000 jobs and would start to be operational as early as 2013. 

Resolved – That the inclusion of the Able Marine Energy Park and adjacent sites within the Humber LEP Enterprise Zone submission be approved. 

3  (3)  DRAFT NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE LOCAL ECONOMIC ASSESSMENT – The Head of Regeneration and Planning submitted a report seeking approval of the draft North Lincolnshire Local Economic Assessment. The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act placed a duty on county and unitary councils to prepare an assessment of the economic conditions of their area. This requirement came into force in April 2010 with councils expected to have produced their first LEA by 31 March 2011. 

The report outlined that Local Economic Assessments would provide a mechanism for bringing existing evidence from a range of partners together within a common economic evidence base. This evidence base would then inform local, sub-regional and regional strategies, ensuring all policy making was based around a full and shared understanding of local economic challenges. It was anticipated that Local Authorities would take account of local business needs as well as the economic wellbeing of individuals and communities. 

A full copy of the Draft Local Economic Assessment for North Lincolnshire was available for review along with a copy of the Draft Local Economic Assessment Evidence Base. 

Resolved – That the Draft Local Economic Assessment for North Lincolnshire be approved. 

Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.