One of the most ambitious projects the Humber has ever seen has now raised half a million pounds from the private sector.

Lagoon Hull, a huge proposal to build out into the river to improve flood protection, ease congestion and provide space to work, live and play - while further serving the offshore wind industry with a huge outer harbour - was given top billing as part of The Business Day.

Chairman and Hull business owner Tim Rix addressed the climax of Humber Business Week, and told of the milestone in the £1.5bn scheme.

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A six-mile strip of land would be raised from the estuary - Dubai island style - protecting the vulnerable city while providing more space to develop.

He said: “This project is all about what Hull needs from a place-marketing point of view, moving forward for the next 100 years. It deals with all the issues; flooding, a southern relief road, a good place for people to live - we need to attract young professional people - and with all the things going on in renewables industry in the North Sea this creates an outer harbour, allowing us to do anything needed to serve the industry.

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“We have raised £500,000. It is unusual, the private sector has come together to put a project together for the public sector, effectively to try and transform the city over the next 25 years, to deal with all the demons and problems.

“We put this project out and have got people behind it. Politicians only listen when things are driven by popularity and I think it would make a massive difference.”

He underlined the high level modelling with the Environment Agency, specialist marine consultancy ABPmer and University of Hull to ensure “the whole river will continue to operate”.

And Mr Rix said it stemmed from a new-found confidence in Hull.

“The City of Culture made people believe in themselves, something Hull absolutely required, and this project has grown out of that belief,” he said.

“We have costed this at £1.5bn, and when you look at what is going on in the economy, and government spending on HS2, we believe it is money extremely well spent. It makes sure Hull doesn’t flood for the next 100 years - after London, Hull is the next place most likely to suffer catastrophic flooding.”

Private sector donations will continue to support it, with businesses backing asked to contribute £5,000 a year in the innovative model for major infrastructure.

“It is a relatively modest amount of money,” Mr Rix said. “We have a project director, an engineer who understands the river like the back of his hand, who helped deliver Siemens’ project. To sustain that is important, so too to put the message across.”

Tim Rix at the launch of Lagoon Hull
Tim Rix at the launch of Lagoon Hull

On timings, he added: “It would take ten years, we need approvals in place, for which we need £25m, that’s all the consenting, then five years to build.”

Hosting The Business Day, Gyles Brandreth described Mr Rix as “not short of ambition” - “big, bold and transformational - that’s you Tim,” he said.

Mr Rix said he was able to lead this due to “surrounding myself with people much brighter and better than me” to run the large city operation - highlighting the booming caravan industry - one part of the group - where demand is causing challenges for supply chains.