A £1.5bn blueprint to create a lagoon to protect Hull from flooding and transform the city’s waterfront has been unveiled.
The project would see the development of a six-mile relief road on the Humber Estuary to reduce congestion, with a non-tidal lagoon running from Victoria Dock to St Andrew’s Quay and improved flood defences.
Lagoon Hull, the firm behind the idea, said it hoped to attract government funding and private investment to get the venture off the ground.
It claimed the creation of the lagoon could generate up to 14,000 jobs in the future through the building of new harbour and port facilities and by providing a new space in the East Yorkshire city for “waterfront living”.
A study by the University of Hull suggested that had such a lagoon been in place during the 2013 tidal surge, during which hundreds of homes in the Humber region were hit by flood water, the city of Hull would have had 100% protection.
The idea is the brainchild of businessman Tim Rix, who said: “The Lagoon Hull project is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the future of the region.
“It addresses the key challenges of today and unlocks our region’s potential for future economic growth, for place-making and creating a city and region where not only will young people want to stay and build their lives, but that attracts new and talented people to live and work.”
Local MPs described the proposal as an “ambitious project” which if realised would transform Hull into “one of the most exciting waterfront cities in Europe”.
Karl Turner, Labour MP for Kingston-upon-Hull East, said: “Lagoon Hull is the biggest, most ambitious project to have ever been devised in Hull and East Yorkshire. If realised, it is truly a game-changer for our region.
“Crucially, Lagoon Hull will protect people living and working in East Hull and across the region from coastal flooding and the worst effects of climate change.
“Therefore, this bold project must be supported.”
Emma Hardy, Labour MP for Hull West and Hessle, said the development “delivers on so much of what this region needs and will have a long-term impact far beyond the immediate flood prevention”.
Lord Haskins, chairman of the Humber Local Enterprise Group, added: “The Humber region could be a shining example of how cities adapt themselves for a changing natural, economic and cultural world.
“The Lagoon Hull project would not just set the scene for the next century of investment and development in the region, it would make Hull one of the most exciting waterfront cities in Europe, possibly even the world.”
Lagoon Hull has been looking into the feasibility of the project for three years and is now looking for support to begin five to 10 years of further research.
It said the construction of the lagoon itself would take around another five years.