Alan Johnson says time is right for green light for £200m Yorkshire Energy Park

Former city MP Alan Johnson has put his weight behind plans for a £200m energy park between Hull and Hedon.

He says the represented the “next big step” for the region in its ambition to promote the Humber as the UK’s energy estuary.

Earmarked for land at the former Hedon aerodrome between Hull Road and Staithes Road, the project includes plans for a new energy centre, data storage centre, hi-tech research units, an education and training campus, business premises and new-look community sports faciilities.

A consortium behind the scheme says it has the capacity to create up to 4,480 new jobs.

The former Hull West and Hessle MP said: “What people need to realise is that this development is even bigger than Siemens coming to Hull.

“Siemens was never meant to be the end of the story, it was always going to be just the beginning and the Yorkshire Energy Park is the next big step in that story.”

Mr Johnson now chairs Hull-based public private partnership CityCare, which recently built the new £9m Jean Bishop integrated health care centre in east Hull.

With international energy giant E.ON supporting the development, Mr Johnson said it was important a decision was made soon.

“I know E.ON have been onboard with this pretty much from the start but they are a big company and if another similar development opportunity came along somewhere else in Europe they would have to consider it.

“That’s why it’s so crucial to get the timing right on this.

“The site has been identified because of the good access to the National Grid and the the fact a gas pipeline goes right underneath it. There’s nowhere like it in the region.

“We have the prospect of some cutting-edge energy technology coming here and with the world becoming more electrified in terms of energy use, things like battery storage research and development are going to be what is needed in the future.

“Here is a site with access to the grid where energy-intensive companies can look at paying something like 20 per cent below the market rate because of its connectivity.

“That is a big attraction for these type of firms.”