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Our time is now … Future Humber and Bondholders to steer region to a bright future

26 April 2023

The Humber’s place promotion organisation has repositioned itself and rebranded to help steer the region towards a prosperous future.

Humber bridge

Future Humber has been launched to replace Marketing Humber, with a renewed strategy and focus on its powerful network of Bondholders that spans the private and public sectors across the region.

The repositioning includes a refreshed and expanded Board of Directors, which will further strengthen Future Humber’s voice across all sectors and steer the strategy to give the region national and international influence. The Board of Directors will be supported by a dedicated Advisory Board.

The change to Future Humber more accurately reflects the organisation’s wide-ranging work to make connections, build partnerships to promote the Humber, and help secure investment to drive growth.

Future Humber’s work will be strongly linked to the themes of “people”, “place”, “partnerships” and “planet”, as well as the role everyone who lives and works in the region has in building a sustainable and prosperous future.

It will promote the Humber’s many distinct strengths to a national and international audience and accelerate opportunities to unlock the region’s rich potential.

The recommitment to the Bondholders businesses and organisations will put them at the heart of everything Future Humber does and connect powerful ambassadors for change.

It will also build on the positive work of what was formerly Marketing Humber’s Young Talent Network, which has grown year on year and has now been rebranded as Talent+. This expanded programme will work closely with the Bondholders to tackle the challenge of talent attraction and retention at all levels.

Talent+ will empower and inspire individuals and communities by providing a platform to strengthen key skills, share knowledge and create meaningful connections.

Bill Walker, Chair of Future Humber, said: “This region has a powerful story to tell as a global example of somewhere that’s redefining itself through renewed confidence, ambition, investment and opportunity.

“This is a story that will be told by Future Humber, supported by our strong network of influential Bondholders, to promote the Humber to a wider audience.

“Future Humber will work collaboratively to prioritise people, place, partnerships and planet to make a positive difference, influencing and inspiring businesses and communities to accelerate opportunities for growth.

“We have a tremendous and immediate window of opportunity to make a dynamic difference to the Humber’s profile and prolonged economic success by bringing together powerful, collaborative voices to tell a story of immense potential. Our time is now.”

Future Humber’s vision is: “To inspire progressive change that creates real and positive impact in our region, successfully empowering people and businesses in the Humber to thrive in a net zero world.”

Its mission is: “To showcase our dynamic region as a collaborative community of business ambassadors, driving innovative local growth and global investment opportunities, where all can live, learn and prosper.”

Future Humber recently moved its expanded operational team to Hull’s C4DI tech hub. The team is Managing Director Dr Diana Taylor; Engagement and Stakeholder Manager Leahann Barnes; Marketing Manager Paige McGowan; Marketing and Communications Executive Alicia Woodward; Office Administrator Saffron Gregg; and Digital Marketing Executive Joanne Brady.

Dr Taylor said: “If we’re to deliver on the scale of opportunity, it’s so important to present a compelling proposition for the region to national and global audiences. That’s what’s prompted this exciting repositioning as Future Humber – because everything we do is geared towards helping create a bright future for the region.

“Through the strength of our private and public sector network of Bondholders, our established business relationships, and our strategic organisational partnerships, both regionally and nationally, we can deliver a compelling narrative to help unlock the Humber’s unlimited potential.

“Our Bondholders are absolutely crucial to this successful delivery, as we work collaboratively towards our shared vision.”

The new expanded Future Humber Board of Directors is made up of:

  • Bill Walker, Chair of Future Humber;
  • Bruce Charlesworth, Chief Medical Officer at Reckitt;
  • Catherine Darby-Roberts, Associate Director and Science, Industry and Technology Business Leader at Arup;
  • Simon Dwyer, CEO at Seafox Management Consultants;
  • Paul Fursey, Lead Executive UK and General Manager Humber Refinery at Phillips 66;
  • Richard Gwilliam, Carbon Storage Director at Drax Group;
  • Anja Hazebroek, Designate Executive Director of Communications, Marketing and Media Relations at NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership;
  • Andrew Hirst, Group Finance Director of Vytahealth Limited;
  • Henri Murison, Chief Executive, The Northern Powerhouse Partnership;
  • Deb Oxley, Founder of Oxley Works, Deputy Lieutenant of the East Riding and Yorkshire and Chair of CatZero and Ownership at Work;
  • Andy Parkinson, CEO of Lampada;
  • Mark Pearson-Kendall, Managing Partner at Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP;
  • Professor Dave Petley, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull;
  • Chris Soper, Joint Managing Director at Sewell Construction;
  • Andy Sykes, Plant Director at Siemens Energy AG;
  • Dr Diana Taylor, Managing Director of Future Humber;
  • Nikki West, Senior Vice President HR for Finance and IT and Head of Global Talent at Smith+Nephew;
  • Dafydd Williams, Head of Policy, Communications and Economic Development (Humber) at Associated British Ports;
  • and Chris Zanetti, Managing Director at Chris Zanetti Ltd.

For more information about Future Humber, visit


Members of the new Future Humber Board give their views on the organisation’s role and the region’s exciting potential.

Henri Murison, Chief Executive, The Northern Powerhouse Partnership: “The potential of the Humber and the crucial role it has to play, not only for the north, but the entire UK, is limitless.

“If we are to deliver a prosperous and sustainable future, it’s essential we unlock that potential and that’s what Future Humber and the Bondholders aspire to. I’m delighted and proud to have been asked to join the Board and look forward to us all working together towards this shared vision.”

Bruce Charlesworth, Chief Medical Officer at Reckitt: “The brand of Future Humber captures the essence of our intent very simply and powerfully and the relaunch of the Bondholders is truly inspiring.

“The Humber region represents a living lab in many ways. There’s a genuine opportunity to demonstrate what can be achieved by passionate people, then amplified on a national or global scale.

“I have every confidence that with such a strong Board of Directors, we will achieve great things, showcase the region and leave a legacy. It’s an exciting time."

Simon Dwyer, CEO at Seafox Management Consultants: “The emphasis that Future Humber will provide the region is a welcome step-change.

“The industries I work closely with, especially in seafood processing, are focused on decarbonisation and talent.

“We look forward to collaborating with the Bondholders on this exciting journey for the Humber.”

Anja Hazebroek, Designate Executive Director of Communications, Marketing and Media Relations at NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and Humber and North Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership: “Future Humber encapsulates a sense of renewed hope, aspiration and opportunity for all.

“Many challenges remain, yet the spirit of the region and its people is always one of dogged determination; to seize potential, overcome obstacles and most importantly, to work together.

“We can achieve so much together – making this very special place somewhere business can thrive and prosper, and where people can live well in every sense.”

Deb Oxley, Founder of Oxley Works, Deputy Lieutenant of the East Riding and Yorkshire and Chair of CatZero and Ownership at Work: “The relaunch of the Bondholders and the refocus of Future Humber comes at exactly the right time, as the region needs to double down on its efforts to challenge policy makers and influencers to recognise its importance and future economic potential.

“Every business in the Humber, and especially the region’s significant SME and family-owned business community, who underpin the region’s economy, should be reassured to hear that Future Humber is grasping ownership of ensuring that its future potential can be realised.”

Professor Dave Petley, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull: “The Humber is a region of enormous potential. It plays a pivotal role in energy security for the UK and beyond and has a tremendous record of innovation and entrepreneurship across a diverse range of sectors. It is a region of deeply passionate people and it is ideally placed to thrive.

“We’re excited about the future for the Humber and the role that the University of Hull will play in it. We’re also proud to work with the Bondholders to forge a great future for the region.”

Paul Fursey, Lead Executive UK and General Manager Humber Refinery at Phillips 66: “I’m delighted to join the new extended Board at the time of the launch of Future Humber and am looking forward to supporting their great work promoting the region.

“It is imperative that, as a region, we work together to tackle the challenges and opportunities within the Humber. We all know that Humber is key to the country’s net zero ambitions and for us to achieve that we need to be heard as one strong voice, a voice highlighting the plethora of investment opportunities and the investment and jobs those opportunities can bring to the region.”