As set out by Tony Danker in his CBI Annual Conference speech in November 2022, CBI is committed to supporting every region and nation thrive.
Economic clusters are central to the CBI’s ambitions for a more dynamic investment driven growth agenda for the UK economy. The UK can only break out of the current economic challenges if every region and nation of the UK is firing on all cylinders and given the tools to make this happen.
Cluster activity has a vital role in helping regions to marshal and maximise their potential and reinvent themselves to attract public and private investment. The proof is in the pudding, London did it in finance; Aberdeen in oil and gas; and Cambridge did it in science. It’s also enabling South Wales to emerge as a player in the world’s compound semiconductor industry, which is projected to grow to over $300bn as a market by 2030. It’s true internationally too, in the US, it’s cemented Massachusetts’ reputation as a global leader in biotech innovation, and, in Germany, it’s helped Hamburg to become a world-leading civil aviation hub.
With so much evidence that clusters work at driving growth, especially where there is public and private investment, the CBI has committed to supporting two demonstrator projects in high-potential clusters – a multi-year intervention to support local efforts to transform and improve the case.
Where will the CBI’s demonstrator projects be located?
The first demonstrator project will be in the Humber, supporting the Zero Carbon Humber.
With nearly half of the UK’s industrial cluster emissions coming from Humber and Teesside, it is a site of immense national importance to our climate goals.
The Humber is home to vast opportunities in green technologies, solutions to net zero transition and new sources of alternative energy. Zero Carbon Humber’s ambition is to capture 50% of the UK’s industrial emissions – this being crucial if the country is to achieve its net zero goals.
What support will the CBI be providing?
Our new Thriving Regions & Nations steering committee will work closely with Zero Carbon Humber, plus other consortiums and broader stakeholders, over multiple years to work towards exactly that target, in what will the first of our trailblazer clusters.
The businesses involved in the Humber Cluster are at the vanguard of driving new solutions to industrial decarbonisation. By bringing business, stakeholders and partners together we’ll be able to deliver a world-leading cluster and ensure the UK achieves its net zero ambitions. A great example of the positive role business can play is the Oh Yes net zero Campaign in Hull that is led by Reckitt and other local businesses.
The CBI will be supporting the Humber demonstrator by investing resources, expertise and convening power to crowd in private sector investment which can drive growth – a formula which can be replicated in all parts of the country as a major contribution to levelling up.
Clusters have the power to be a transformational play, uniting high value sectors, firms, skills and investment in a place. The CBI and Zero Carbon Humber are ready to signpost a road to prosperity which all UK regions and nations can follow.
The CBI will be announcing further demonstrator cluster locations later this year. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Ahmed Goga, CBI’s Director for Regional Policy and Clusters.