The Future Humber Blog

15 March 2023

On the 14th March, a delegation made the trip to Westminster for a private lunch event at the House of Commons, organised jointly by Marketing Humber and sponsors ABP.

A huge thank you to Hull Trains for getting the team there and back in comfort.

The Marketing Humber team on Hull Trains on their way to Westminster

The event brought together political leaders, investors, business leaders. dignitaries and media stakeholders to discuss the Humber as an example of a ‘place’ that is defining itself through renewed confidence, ambition, investment and opportunity.  

David Laister of BusinessLive and Dafydd Williams of ABP warming up outside the Houses of ParliamentDavid Laister of BusinessLive and Dafydd Williams of ABP warming up outside the Houses of Parliament

David Laister of BusinessLive and Dafydd Williams of ABP warming up outside the Houses of Parliament.

Aligned to the national government agendas, the event demonstrated how vital the Humber is to UK Plc, with its plans to continue to drive economic growth and to showcase the opportunities in the Humber such as; Freeport status, clean growth and levelling up.  

Keynote speaker Martin Vickers MP for Cleethorpes, standing in for Levelling Up Minister Dehenna Davison, shared Dehanna's words about the potential and benefits of the Humber Freeport, with a focus on job creation, education and training, and building a net zero future.  

Martin Vickers MP for Cleethorpes giving the keynote speechMartin Vickers MP for Cleethorpes giving the keynote speech

Dame Diana Johnson MP for Hull North said “There are formidable companies around the table and it is an honour for Humber MPs to be part of this.” 

Dame Diana Johnson MP

Simon Bird, ABP’s Humber director, and chairman of the Humber Freeport spoke about his pride to be part of the Humber Freeport bid and partnership vision with green energy generation at the forefront, stimulating significant investment and creating jobs.  

Mr Bird said “The recent Humber 2030 vision, produced by the Humber Energy Board, showcases 18 major projects which combined make up £15 billion of private sector investment in the Humber, all are either producing green energy or capturing carbon. The one thing all 18 projects have in common, is that they are all customers of ABP’s Humber ports, which is why I am so passionate about showcasing the role the Humber is playing in creating and boosting the UK economy of the future.” 

Simon Bird, ABP's Humber Director and chairman of the Humber Freeport

Paul Atherley of Pensana PLC focused on the power of the Humber cluster, and the impact of both the location and the collaboration between business and with the public sector. It’s not just about tax breaks!  

Paul Atherley of Pensana PLC

Thanks due again to Hull Trains for getting us all back up home. 

Marketing Humber ready to travel on Hull Trains

Overall, it was a positive day with lots of connections made and reinforced, and a step forward taken in making Humber Freeport a reality. Thank you to everyone that supported the event.  

 You can read more about the event and the Humber Freeport bid at  

Here are some more images from the day, thanks again to Neil Holmes Photography

Dame Diana Johnson MP and Simon Bird of ABP

The Humber Freeport biscuits for all guests




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