Who is behind low carbon initiative?

Lisa Brazier, Haven Gateway

Lisa Brazier, Haven Gateway - Credit: Archant

With its green virtues and real money on offer for SMEs, the Low Carbon Freight Dividend has attracted plenty of headlines since it was launched two years ago. With support from the European Regional Development Fund, it offers SMEs up to £20,025 for switching containers from road to rail or coastal shipping.

But who’s behind the LCFD project and what else does the organisation get up to? The Haven Gateway Partnership was set up 13 years ago by partners from north Essex and south Suffolk to promote the area as a distinct economic subregion, with the ports of Felixstowe, Harwich, Ipswich and Mistley as strong anchors in that economy.

Like any organisation, the partnership has developed and evolved over the years. In essence, it remains the same – a public/private partnership acting as a catalyst for cooperation and still championing the ports and logistics sector, while also supporting its partners in the drive for economic growth more generally.

HGP played a central role in a number of European initiatives, working with other partners from across Europe on the Dryport, Port Integration and Cruise Gateway projects. These not only brought valuable funding into the subregion but also benefited ports, shipping professionals and other stakeholders through the exchange of ideas and best practice and, of course, through establishing a network of very useful contacts and new business opportunities!

Now, apart from the LCFD, we have some very specific focus areas, including our campaign for investment in the A120. Anyone living or working in this area will understand that the A120 is vitally important to the Haven Gateway, because it acts as an economic thread linking Stansted Airport in the west and Harwich International Port in the east – along with the local economies of Braintree and Colchester along the way.

The A120 hasn’t had the investment it needs and there is now a danger that it will be a constraint on growth, when it ought to be supporting it.

The importance of the A120 is linked to the growth of Stansted Airport, of course. But it’s also linked to two other campaigns that the Haven Gateway Partnership is championing. The first is ‘Energising Harwich’, a project involving a consortium of employers in partnership with Colchester Institute, which is supporting people in the Harwich and Tendring area to access new jobs in the offshore renewable energy industry. The second is ‘Harwich Offshore’, which is promoting Harwich as a centre for UK offshore renewables, as some of the biggest wind farm opportunities emerge in the North Sea.

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This year we have welcomed Manchester Airports Group, which owns Stansted, to the partnership, with MAG’s commercial director, Graeme Ferguson, joining the board. And we are supporting a new partnership to promote economic growth in north-east Essex, launched with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Essex, Colchester Borough Council, Tendring District Council and Essex County Council

The Haven Gateway has indeed been established and recognised at national and European level as an important subregion in its own right – and the partnership is working tirelessly to ensure that it continues to get the recognition, and the investment, that it deserves.

Find out more about the Low Carbon Freight Dividend by visiting www.lcfd.co.uk or by contacting Lisa Brazier: lisa.brazier@haven-gateway.org or 01206 713612.