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From | Friday 23 October 2020

Kwasi Kwarteng tells Waterline Summit 2020 the region is a beacon for other industrial clusters.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth.

The Humber is a renewable energy “powerhouse” that is central to the country’s transition to a zero-carbon economy, a senior government figure has said.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, told The Waterline Summit 2020 the region is a beacon for other industrial clusters and has a crucial part to play in the economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The immersive digital summit, organised by Marketing Humber, has this week attracted more than 3,000 visitors, including a global audience from countries including the United States, China, Australia, India and Brazil.

It has featured renowned speakers from business, government and national media, as well as sustainability experts.

The summit has brought together companies, community groups, colleges and schools to highlight how the climate change threat presents a unique opportunity for the Humber to attract significant investment and create thousands of skilled jobs.

Addressing online attendees on the final day of the summit, Mr Kwarteng said: “The Humber is a world-leading industrial cluster.

“Its history, traditions and culture are in engineering expertise, in entrepreneurial spirit and innovation.”

Highlighting examples such as Siemens Gamesa’s wind turbine factory in Hull, Mr Kwarteng said: “There is a huge range of opportunities. The Humber region has established itself as a real powerhouse as far as renewable energy is concerned.

“The Humber is absolutely central to our green transition and our green recovery. It represents an excellent example – a beacon, if you like – to many other industrial clusters across the UK.

“It’s absolutely vital in this difficult time of the Covid crisis that we can use the expertise you have here in the Humber to build back greener and to build back better.”

Held in partnership with the University of Hull and Yorkshire Water, The Waterline Summit builds on the growing momentum across the estuary to embrace pioneering technologies, attract investment and create jobs in a green economy.

This year’s event featured a virtual conference centre, including a lobby, networking lounge, exhibition hall and auditorium, hosted on the vFairs platform. Attendees were able to browse exhibition stands, engage with exhibitors, network using the live chat function and attend talks and panel discussions.

Other high-profile speakers included David Shukman, Science Editor of BBC News; Mark England, Team GB’s Director of Sport Services and Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020 (now rescheduled to 2021); and award-winning business journalist and presenter Nadine Dereza.

Schools, colleges and communities had opportunities throughout the week to share ideas and best practice, as well as learn about current and future career paths opened up by the region embracing a sustainable future.

The summit also heard about key projects taking place across the estuary, including updates on the £1.5bn Lagoon Hull scheme and £200m Yorkshire Energy Park.

Diana Taylor, Managing Director of Marketing Humber, said: “The level of interest and engagement with the summit throughout the week has been phenomenal and has further strengthened the understanding that climate change is not only the Humber’s biggest threat, but also its biggest opportunity.”