The site earmarked for development is owned by the council and will combine the production of food with renewable energy in an investment estimated at £30M.
Power generated from the plant would supply energy to production facilities at the site as well as the National Grid.
Brady told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “I’m not prepared to name the food manufacturer at this stage. They have agreed that we can make the announcement as long as we don’t name them.”
The council is in “final detail talks” with the food manufacturer about the future of a council-owned site in the east of the city.
Brady said the food manufacturing development would eventually create up to 700 jobs.
The deal is at an early stage and full details have yet to be released. Planning permission has not been granted yet.
Operating consent will also have to be granted by the Environment Agency.
It is estimated that it will take at least two years for the plant to become operational.
Brady said: “I’m not prepared to say anything more until the official announcement has been made.”
‘It’s not Cranswick’
He denied that the food manufacturer in question was Cranswick, which recently invested in the city. Last month (February 1), the pork processor announced its purchase of a former fish auction house in Hull, which it will use to service a new £30M contract to supply fresh pork to Asda.
Brady did reveal that Lord Haskins, chairman of the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), had been involved with the negotiations.
The LEP aims to create economic growth and hundreds of jobs across the Humber region in 2013.
Haskins’ efforts for the region were rewarded last month (February 19) when deputy prime minister Nick Clegg granted approval for Humber to negotiate City Deal Status. This accelerates decentralisation by devolving decision making powers from Whitehall to local authorities.
‘A landmark moment’
Describing the announcement as “a landmark moment for the area’s economy”, Haskins said: “We have really started to build up a head of steam securing the largest Enterprise Zone in the country, along with £65M of Regional Growth Funding. We have also helped secure a reduction in Humber Bridge tolls and received national recognition for our renewable energy potential.
“City Deal status will allow important decisions to be made locally through power devolved to the region and aid in the delivery of our five-year plan along with our work on Lord Heseltine’s pathfinder proposal for new pioneering ways of economic development.”
A spokeswoman from the council said an official announcement would be made about the deal with the food manufacturer early next week.
Brady’s early announcement of the development came on the day the council approved budget plans to axe up to 600 jobs at the authority, which prompted cynical reactions from locals.
The timing of the announcement prompted angry reactions on the website of the Hull Daily Mail. Many contributors claimed that the new jobs would not be given to locals but to cheaper, migrant workers.
- “All of the production line and warehouse jobs will go to Polish/Bulgarian/Latvian/Lithuanian workers and the management jobs will go to people who don’t live locally. Of the 700 jobs that will allegedly be created, about 200 of them will go to local people.”
- “This is just spin and lies to distract us from a raise in Council Tax and cuts in services against the background of broken election promises.”
- “Worked all my life in this city and work in a big company that has slowly replaced English for Eastern Europeans at an alarming rate. All temp/agency workers and never give them a full week’s work – that way they will never have to give them a contract or up their wages to match full-timers.”