Minister Hails Park as ‘Great Example’

Praise for region’s public-private partnerships.

Local government minister Bob Neill believes the East Riding is in a good position to ride out the economic downturn.

Speaking during a visit to the Melton West business park, he praised the strong partnerships between East Riding Council and the region’s private sector.

After taking a tour around the £4 million extension currently being built next to Allam Marine’s generator factory, he told the Mail: “When you see this sort of significant investment going on, it’s a sign that everyone is pulling together in the same direction.

“As a government, we want to see much closer working between local authorities and the business community and what is going on here is a great example of that.

“We are giving local authorities unprecedented opportunities to reinvest in their areas through our reforms to business rates.

“Investment in things like infrastructure, where businesses can then bring in their own investment, is what we need to see more of and what has happened here in Melton is proof of that.

“The local Enterprise Zones and the restructuring of the Humber Bridge debt will also help the area enormously.”

Mr Neill was accompanied on his visit by Allam Marine’s Managing Director Assem Allam, East Riding Council leader Councillor Stephen Parnaby and Dominic Gibbons, Managing Director of the Melton West developer, the Wykeland Group.

Mr Parnaby said: “The council always welcomes the opportunity to speak with the Government in order to discuss key issues relating, not only to council business, but also to local communities. We are working tirelessly to attract new investment to the area.

“Personally, I sometimes think we hear too much doom and gloom about the economy when in reality there are some very exciting things going on in the East Riding.

“Melton West is a case in point. Four years ago none of this was here but the new grade separated junction at Melton opened up this site and now we are seeing significant investment by local and national companies.”

Mr Gibbons said the ongoing development of Melton West and the recent formal launch of Wykeland’s £100 million Bridgehead business park in Hessle indicated a positive future for the region. He said: “We are looking to start infrastructure work on the Bridgehead site in February with the first buildings being occupied before the end of next year.”