Humber Industrial Cluster Plan's story
Funded by UKRI, together with contributions from our private sector partners (British Steel, Centrica Storage, Drax, Equinor New Energy, Keadby Generation (SSE), HCF CATCH, National Grid Carbon, Phillips 66 and VPI Immingham), the £2.6M project is led by the Hull and East Yorkshire LEP. We also benefit from the support of EPI UK, Harbour Energy, Prax, Singleton Birch, North Lincolnshire Council, and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP.
Whilst maintaining a technology agnostic approach, we are working closely with the industrial decarbonisation deployment projects in the area. Our evidence-based and and modelling-driven approach will identify optimum ways to bring together these projects with an understanding of what other decarbonisation technologies and solutions may be required to close any remaining gaps. The project will also evaluate where barriers to decarbonisation may arise, for instance within the supply chain and skills sectors or within regulation and policy, recommending appropriate solutions.
Public understanding and acceptance of the activity required to support decarbonisation is also an important facet of the project, so that not only is community support built from the outset, but also that careers understanding of the potential opportunities are enhanced across the region.
Combining information from industrial emitters in the region with data from local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan will incorporate inward investment know-how and development information such that the economic uplift to the region and employment opportunities within the area can be maximised.
This 27-month long project commenced in January 2021, and will conclude in March 2023, when the Cluster Plan Roadmap will be presented to leaders in the region for adoption, and to our Industrial Partners and UKRI as sponsors.
Useful learnings from Humber Industrial Cluster Plan
Our project is still in progress, but these are some early learning points so far.
Our work in phase 1 highlighted the need to decarbonise refining steel and chemical emissions as they dominate the Humber’s carbon emission footprint.
Over recent decades, the Humber region has developed as a critical industrial cluster for the UK. The Humber Industrial Cluster emits more CO2 than any other industrial cluster; 30% more than the next largest. At the same time, the region is a significant contributor to the UKs economy - £18bn is generated in the Humber each year with 360,000 jobs supported in industries such as refining, petrochemicals, manufacturing and power generation and through their associated supply chains.
Early and persistent engagement with all stakeholders is important: it is vital to recognise the different perspectives and priorities of different stakeholders.
Important to develop a unified and consistent messaging around the challenge. For instance, our accuracy on CO2 emissions has improved as we have undertaken more work on industrial emissions in the area, but it has been difficult to move wider conversations on, and original figures published some time ago (but now improved upon) remain "persistent".
Building an integrated team has challenges when working in partnership across the public and private sectors - particularly as team members join at different points in time, represent different organisations, and have different business cultures. Establishing core values, principles of governance and expectations for the delivery team early on is critical and would have advantages for team dynamics and cohesiveness. Similarly, having a unified system for project communications and information sharing would be helpful from the outset.
Close working relationships with private sector partners - and other projects in the area - to ensure complementary engagement with communities is important to avoid confusion and consultation fatigue.
Making time to develop and maintain a consistent and regularly updated Project Management Plan has been helpful in supporting new joiners to the project, as well as maintaining sound project management and aiding reporting to funders.
Humber Industrial Cluster Plan's metrics
Number of jobs created.