A combination of fortunate land-sea geography and a population of skilled workers draws commerce to the region. Growth is largely organic, but inbound investment helps.
North Lincolnshire is on the cusp of significant forward movement. Its most significant natural resource, the Humber, is increasingly engaged in commerce with a collection of ports plus a £3 billion infusion of Government funding in the Able Marine Energy Park and Green Port Hull.
And yet Lincolnshire is historically a sparsely populated county (510 people per square mile) with beautiful wetlands and other natural features worth preserving. Planners and community leaders are not unaware of this. sustainably, sensitive to habitats and natural ecosystems. Wildlife corridors and biodiversity of this estuary region, along with hedgerows, ditches, swales and lakes, are foremost in the plans set forth by developers and their architects. The results are a strategic preservation of flora and fauna that can co-exist with a growing economy and population.
North Lincolnshire’s growth is the product of planning, but much of that growth was happening organically. In the recession years of 2008-2012, the greater Lincolnshire economic output, as measured by Gross Value Added (GVA), grew by 3.8 per cent. Growth rates were greater in England overall and the East Midlands in particular. But three North Lincolnshire industry sectors – agri-food, manufacturing and tourism – had much higher GVA numbers (11%, 13% and 5%, respectively). The Greater Lincolnshire Local Economic Partnership (LEP) is therefore urging that resources be applied to these three sectors for their historic and on-going strengths relative to the national economy.
Who are the builders of homes, commercial properties and related infrastructure) are the following:
Broad mix of entry-level and skilled employment – Engineers and medical professionals are already here, including the builders of wind turbines, the physicians who staff hospitals and researchers working with businesses through Knowledge Transfer Partnerships at the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park. This skills diversity extends also to housing and commercial activities, with a consumer market that is less susceptible to economic and business cycles.
Knowledge base, innovation-driven – The LEP proposes to create a “growth hub” to provide strategic coordination and create conditions for growth that feed the 41,000 small- to medium-sized businesses in the area. A goal is to help start-ups beat the survival rate of three-years’ existence, which nationally is 58 per cent. But make no mistake, these are firms and industries of greater importance and relevance in the emerging industries such as renewable energy and technology.
Increasing productivity – Historically, the region has ranked below the English average for overall worker productivity. But with a focused effort on one industry in particular, the agri-food sector, the LEP endeavours to apply world-class agricultural science and technologies, as well as process innovation across the supply chain. Further, investment in infrastructure such as the ports and highways and rail hubs will get more products to more markets in less time – yielding a net increase in product volumes and prices at market.
Export infrastructure – Within 24 hours sailing time from the several Humber ports are 800 million people in Scandinavian and continental European countries. But the infrastructure that makes this region truly equipped for handling exports as well as imports are the roads, rails and airports (Humberside as well as Doncaster Robin Hood and Leeds Bradford airports are all in relatively close proximity).
In laying out a strategic plan for economic growth, the Greater Lincolnshire LEP explains that investors should take advantage of “area-based schemes that unblock housing developments.” As with any area planning for growth, this is essential for housing families and attracting skilled workers to an area from elsewhere.
Investments in industry, land and housing all come with unique circumstances and tradeoffs. Speak with an independent financial advisor before committing to any asset category or equity position.