Lord Mandelson launches Hull's plan to 'transform' city

Artist's impression of new factory The delayed £200m wind turbine factory at Alexandra Docks is part of Hull's plan

A plan to attract £1bn of investment and create 7,500 jobs in a "major economic refit" would "transform" Hull.

Launching the 10-year City Plan, Lord Mandelson - High Steward of Hull - said the region needed to focus on renewable energy and heritage.

The council said it aimed to "break the cycle of deprivation" by ensuring jobs were created for those on benefits.

Hull has too often made headlines for the wrong reasons.

From high unemployment to low educational standards, there have been times when some feared the city was on a permanent downward spiral.

As the newly-installed High Steward of Hull (a post once held by his grandfather Herbert Morrison) Peter Mandelson believes there is increasing cause for optimism in the city.

Lord Mandelson said he was confident the Hull City Plan would encourage many new businesses to invest in Humber region, particularly in the green energy sector.

Business leaders also want to put Hull on the world map of visitor destinations.

There is an ambitious plan to bring the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious to Hull as a tourist attraction.

With the city's soccer team preparing to play top-flight football once again, many hope Hull can become a premier league city in more ways than one.

Hull has the highest unemployment rate in the UK, with 8.6% of the population claiming jobseekers' allowance.

The plan, put together by a group of people from across the public and private sectors, was launched at an event at the University of Hull attended by hundreds of local business people.

It sets out 65 projects over the next 10 years, including a delayed £200m wind turbine factory and development of a cruise terminal near the city centre.

'Unique assets'

Lord Mandelson, recently appointed the high steward, said: "It's not a new look, it's not a spray-on, it's a very major economic refit of both the city and the region, drawing on its natural advantages.

"It's taking the unique assets and advantages of this city, enabling them to invest in those so not only does the city take off, but as it lifts, it takes the region with it."

Tim Rix, chairman of the City Leadership Board, said Hull's location was the key to its future success.

"We've got a fantastic pedigree going back many years of great maritime history and I think the sea, with the renewables industry, is something we are again going to see coming to the fore," he said.

"A lot of this is going to be driven by the private sector... but I hope we're going to get government support as well."

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