Bondholders launches extensive programme to redefine Humber place narrative

At a critical time of renewed confidence and transformation for the region, Future Humber (Bondholders) has begun an extensive programme of work to redefine the Humber Place Narrative. 

The narrative holds significant potential to enhance regional promotion and attract inward investment, providing a unified message on ‘Why the Humber’—a necessity for diverse sectors, businesses, and organisations to ensure continued prosperity and growth. 

Dr Diana Taylor, Managing Director of Future Humber, emphasised the importance of inclusivity in crafting a compelling narrative that resonates across communities. She stated: “Collaboration among stakeholders from various sectors is crucial to ensure that the narrative accurately reflects the richness and complexity of the region.” 

Future Humber has engaged a consortium of national and regional experts to develop the place brand. It is hoped it will drive strategic investment and foster a unified voice. The initiative began with extensive research and discovery phases, gathering insights from across the region and conducting numerous one-on-one conversations with internal and external stakeholders. 

Recently, the project entered its second phase, marked by a two-day charette and think tank event where consortium partners CTConsults, HemingwayDesign, and Pace Communications engaged in face-to-face discussions to further refine the narrative. Sector-specific focus groups are also scheduled for later this month to delve deeper into key themes. 

Dr. Taylor stressed the importance of stakeholder involvement, urging participation in sector focus groups and other engagement opportunities: “It is imperative that our narrative is created through the voices of our stakeholders, and attending the relevant sector focus groups is one way for everyone to get involved. This is a chance to test and challenge the emerging threads and themes of the new narrative.

“For those unable to attend events, avenues such as online surveys and remote discussions ensure broad input from the regional leaders, workforces, students, and communities, capturing perceptions both locally and internationally.” 

Andrew Palmer, Client Director at CTConsults, expressed astonishment at the region’s potential during the immersive tour, highlighting the Humber’s critical role in global transitions and the urgent need for a powerful, unified message. 

Mr Palmer stated: “It’s clear the Humber suffers from a perception lag. But the opportunity is enormous, exponential, vast – and urgent. The Humber’s role in transitioning the UK – and the world – into a new reality is critical. The challenge lies in articulating that in a powerful, united message.” 

Amy Lewis, Place Consultant at CTConsults, added: “The monumental scale of manufacturing and trade across the region was difficult to comprehend. The manufacturing sites and the ports were ‘industrial cathedrals’ to steel, cement, and containers – all of which dominated the flat landscape – whilst the city, towns and natural landscapes were breath-taking in their ambition and progression.” 

Discussions during the tour, which included all four local authorities, showcased the region’s leadership in offshore wind, clean energy, and hydrogen technology, underlining its global significance. The tour also explored the cultural and economic landscape, from Hull’s transformative City of Culture legacy to development initiatives in Beverley, Goole, and Scunthorpe. A comprehensive exploration of infrastructure and industry, including the Humber Bridge and ports of Immingham and Grimsby, provided insight into the region’s scale and diversity of sectors. 

Future Humber also hosted its Principal and Major Partners, Board members and VIP guests for an interactive think tank. This allowed stakeholders to learn about and question the approach being taken by the appointed consortium.

Dr Taylor explained: “It is essential that we all understand the path to create our place branding: that actions speak louder than words; that places must be underpinned by values shared by all stakeholders in a region; and that those values must be credible, authentic, and aspirational. 

“This is our time; this is our opportunity to transform our future and advocate for a better deal – we can only do this if we all take ownership of our place narrative.”

For more information about the sector focus groups and to get involved, please visit

To complete the online survey, please visit