Clare Burnett

Yorkshire business community celebrates GDP growth

Statistics released by the government today show the economic growth of the Yorkshire region.

The value of exports from the Yorkshire and Humber region has increased by 21.8% since 2010.

Some of the highlights include Rolls Royce settling in Rotherham, the Able UK Marine Energy Park, a £450m project that could create 4000 jobs, the 392m new Haribo factory in Castleford, and the

Len Cruddas, Chief Executive of Leeds, York, and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce has said: “News that GDP grew in Q3 echoes the Chamber’s own economic research which has been pointing to slow but steady growth for the last 12 months.

“What we are now seeing is an increase in the number of companies thinking that this might be the sustained recovery we have all been hoping for. Indeed our latest survey released last week reported that business in our region signalled levels of confidence last seen in 2007, with over half of all companies stating their turnover was now higher or significantly higher than it was at the start of the recession.”

However he also said: “Economic growth is not consistent across our region and companies are indicating growing concerns around the price of fuel, utilities and raw materials. Time will tell if we are in full recovery mode but things certainly feel better as business owners talk of investment and growth in increasing numbers.”

Humber LEP Chair Lord Haskins said that the GDP growth “reflected in the increase in the number of businesses applying to us for funding through our £30m Regional Growth Fund Growing the Humber programme to support their growth plans, which require match funding - borrowed or own funds - in place.”

“Our first 10 now in contract will create over 150 jobs with dozens more proposed projects in process close to being in contract. A further 50 jobs have been created on our enterprise zone sites and with the £25m development of one site in the Humber enterprise zone promising 500 more jobs we are starting to see good progress in this area too.”

Peter Stephenson, Executive Chairman, Able UK commented: “Today’s figures accompanied by recent Government initiatives to support growth—and the recent very positive comment from the Prime Minister, describing Able Marine Energy Park as a ‘very important investment’—will certainly be welcomed by the international businesses we need to attract to fulfil the potential of our development and the Humber as a whole.”

He added: “The £450m port development reflects our own - and the region’s - optimism for the future. It will, of course, provide a significant boost for the construction sector but more importantly it will provide the catalyst for establishing a major world-class renewable energy cluster on the Humber, with huge benefits for the local supply chain and employment opportunities.”

Mark Robson, Regional Director for UKTI Yorkshire and the Humber “It was our strongest quarterly showing since 2011, and it is a further sign that local businesses are taking the initiative and fulfilling their global potential.”

“We have the skills, products, services and expertise as a region to capitalise on international opportunities wherever they arise, and I am quietly confident that we will continue driving forwards for the remainder of 2013.”

Alison Bettac, director of training at the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield added “We’re seeing very positive signs from the advanced manufacturing sector, including increasing demand for skilled employees, especially around advanced machining.”

“We’re giving businesses the skills they need to drive innovation and growth, and helping hundreds of young people to build successful careers in high-value sectors like aerospace and energy.”

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