Economic Development: 

These past few years debate has been dominated by BRICs; CIVETs; MINTs and other Emerging National groupings. The GGF agenda starts from the premise that this is too big a focus. The GGF is rooted firmly on sustainable communities, supply chains and SMEs, international trade and joining the dots.

In the UK a focus on governance and boundaries is not within our scope at this point. Public Sector bodies (Local Councils; Combined Authorities; LEPs) and other groupings are exploring this agenda and are qualified and resourced to do so. The GGF is not.

Globally, The GGF are focused on exploring innovation, digital connectivity and networking across communities, core sectors and emerging ideas.

Sustainable Communities:

The founding trade corridor of The GGF has been the Humber to Mersey trade corridor (including Doncaster and Wakefield). This is the cradle of the industrial revolution that became a rust belt of faded glory. Fishing as well as Steel; Textile and Coal mining communities characterised the Humber/Mersey socioeconomic landscape. In other words – communities that rose (and fell) together. The focus on Service industries, the abandonment of the manufacturing agenda exacerbated the North South divide.

The GGF sees the need to use innovative thinking to explore fresh ways to establish and maintain and develop sustainable communities. This means everything from well-being and lifelong learning to enterprise and the creative industries.

Initial dialogue with like minded communities across the globe (Great Lakes; Pacific Alliance; Poland the Baltics; India; Kurdistan and Ghana) underscores common purpose. On energy; on water; on remote learning; stranded rural assets; SMEs; youth employment …  all leads bacck to a sustainable community agenda.


These days supply chains compete not companies. The banking system has not responded to their needs and, more innovative thinking is needed to bridge the gap between innovative ideas and the marketplace.

Green Blue Project: a focus on sustainability.

The Hull Freedom Centre is working with Arup and Archomai Consulting on a holistic project to explore synergies between separate green and water based projects in East Hull. This pilot is geared to learn and then, link with other opportunities and partners across the Global Gateways geography.

  • This is work-in-progress. Watch this space.

EAC (Employability Assessment Certificate).

The UK has one million young people unemployed. In parallel, supply chain realities in multiple sectors are witnessing shortages of skilled labour and a succession crisis waiting to happen.

The Hull Freedom Centre is working with Archomai and other local partners to develop and deliver a means to assess an individuals employability. The approach builds on learning by doing and digital technology to offer a candidate a simulator based work experience as a means to assess their raw potential. We move beyond interview techniques to put candidates through their paces using a ten step programme.

A candidate will move from an opening set of functional literacy tests to a sequence of simulator based experiences with equipment typical of local industry sectors. For example, construction and earth moving equipment; cranes; trucks or welding.

  • This is work-in-progress. Watch this space.

Trade Corridors: joining the dots.

Across the globe, trade corridors make a difference: ports to connect with a wider hinterland; markets as well as reserves of skills. Trade corridors enable landlocked countries to connect with seaboards and global markets. For example, Mozambique hosts a few corridors, including the Nacala and Beira corridors, which connect Mozambique to Malawi and Zambia. The Maputo corridor links Mozambique to the largest manufacturing and economic hubs in Southern Africa, coming to an end in the Gauteng province of Africa’s wealthiest nation, South Africa.

  • Global Gateways sees an opportunity to learn from global initiatives AND work towards a global network of trade corridors building increased knowledge and skills transfer.