Innovative partnership to help businesses across West Yorkshire use the Northern Powerhouse ‘front door’

Associations, Ports & Terminals — By on November 24, 2014 at 4:31 PM
ABP Director, Humber, John Fitzgerald and Chief Executive of Wakefield Council Joanne Roney sign the Memorandum of Understanding (image courtesy of ABP/David Lee Photography)

ABP Director, Humber, John Fitzgerald and Chief Executive of Wakefield Council Joanne Roney sign the Memorandum of Understanding (image courtesy of ABP/David Lee Photography)

Businesses from across West Yorkshire gathered at Associated British Ports’ (ABP) Port of Goole to celebrate the signing of a pioneering Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ABP and Wakefield Council.

The two organisations, with support from UK Trade & Industry (UKTI), will work together to highlight and develop export opportunities for businesses across Wakefield and the Leeds City Region in order to promote business growth in the area.

Wakefield Council’s Chief Executive Joanne Roney said: “This partnership will strengthen our ability to develop export opportunities for our local and regional businesses and reinforces Wakefield Council’s commitment to securing economic growth in our region.

“Our aim is to see the value of exports coming out of our area increase by 15% over the next two years and by working with ABP and UKTI we are confident this can be achieved.”

ABP Director, Humber, John Fitzgerald is excited by the prospect of working closely with Wakefield Council.

He said: “Ninety-five per cent of trade coming in and out of the UK comes by sea and the ports are a fundamental link in the supply chain for international trade.

“The Humber ports are the region’s biggest natural asset and the largest port complex in the UK. It makes absolute sense that businesses from across Yorkshire and Humber and the whole of the north should be using them to develop and grow, and we can help them do just that.

“The ports are an enabler, allowing the regions to be internationally competitive. Take the Port of Goole for example. Here we have a tri-modal facility with excellent rail, road and waterway connections that’s a crucial trading hub.

“Increasingly the north is being marketed as a single business entity. The Humber ports are the front door of this ‘Northern Powerhouse’.”

ABP is seeking to expand on this partnership with business-minded local authorities throughout the north.

As well as hearing from John Fitzgerald and Joanne Roney, delegates attended a workshop delivered by Colin Russell of UKTI, which was designed to help them understand exporting, how to identify opportunities and how companies can achieve positive results. UKTI also provided advice on next steps for those companies which felt they needed guidance on how to start the process. Delegates were also given a tour of the port estate in Goole.

ABP is the UK’s leading ports operator with 21 ports and other transport related businesses creating a unique national network capable of handling a vast array of cargo.

Around one quarter of the UK’s seaborne trade passes through ABP’s Statutory Harbour Areas.  ABP contributes £5.6 billion to the UK economy every year and supports 84, 000 jobs. Our current investment programme promises to deliver an extra £1.75 billion for the economy every year.


  • ·         Handled over 1.5 million vehicles in 2013.
  • ·         Generates around one quarter of the UK’s rail freight
  • ·         Has 1.4 million square metres of covered storage
  • ·         Has 1000 hectares of open storage
  • ·         Handled 119m tonnes of cargo in 2013
  • ·         Owns 5000 hectares of port estate
  • ·         Has 87km of quay

Over the next five years, ABP is investing over £650 million in a wide range of major projects across the group.

ABP Humber

The four ports of Grimsby, Immingham, Hull and Goole handle more than 65 million tonnes of cargo between them each year.

Grimsby and Immingham form the UK’s busiest trading gateway and move around 54 million tonnes of cargo per annum.

£75 million is currently being invested in the biomass handling terminal in Immingham, in a Humber-wide agreement with Drax Power Ltd that has seen £25 million invested in a biomass handling facility in Hull. The Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal will handle sustainable biomass shipments and will create over 100 permanent jobs once complete. The construction phase has also created 100 employment opportunities.

The Port of Hull handles 10 million tonnes of cargo per annum and is the is the focal point for the development of the UK’s largest offshore wind turbine construction, assembly, and service facility, which will be located on the Port’s Alexandra Dock. This new facility, coupled with a new rotor blade manufacturing base near Paull to the east of the port estate, represents a £310 million investment and could create up to 1000 direct jobs.

The Grimsby River Terminal represents an investment of £26 million and allows large car-carrying ships to berth outside the Port’s lock system. This development confirms the Port’s position as the UK’s leading automotive handling facility.

More than the equivalent of 1million teus (twenty foot equivalent unit) of unitised trade is shipped through ABP Humber ports.

Ro-ro and container traffic represents more than 30 sailings a week to Europe, Scandinavia the Baltic and beyond.

The Humber ports handle more than 70 freight train movements per day.

Goole is situated 50 miles upriver and is the UK’s premier inland port. It handles over two million tonnes of cargo annually.


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