At the AGM of the Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce Albert Weatherill became the 111th President since its foundation in 1837.
His Vice President for the year is Kirk Akdemir, the managing director of AaGlobal, a translation business which has made its home in Hull after starting out in Worcester. AaGlobal has recently undergone a rebranding exercise to celebrate its 30 years in business.
Albert’s connection to the Chamber goes back 40 years and he is proud of the fact this Chamber is the only one in the UK to have a Shipping, Transport and Renewables Committee.
He promised to do his best during his year of office as the President of what he described as ‘aq truly great organisation’, and said: “The Chamber is led by an excellent Chief Executive in Ian Kelly and represents an eclectic mix of businesses which belong to it from all around the Humber. The Hull & Humber Chamber is ranked fifth financially in the UK and includes most of the biggest businesses in the area in its membership. You look at some of the esteemed Past Presidents’ names on the website, and you become aware that you’ve got some big shoes to fill in this role.
“The Chamber really does fight the corner of all businesses, large or small, within its membership.
“I come from a marine background so my focus will be on the shipping side and it needs to be. The River Humber is pivotal to the Humber economy and links flow from our past to our future. Immingham, for example, is the biggest port by tonnage in the UK and the Humber is the fourth largest port complex in Europe with 40,000 shipping movements a year.
“There is a lot of industry, and a lot of environmental cost, with the area being the highest emitter of CO2 in the UK, but it is also a global leader in renewables. As the Government moves to Net Zero, there is £15-billion being committed to reduce and capture CO2, not from Government, but from local businesses. The world is watching what we do here. The World Economic Forum which meets every year in Davos, highlighted two areas globally which are leading on renewables and carbon capture, one is in China, and the other is the Humber. This attention brings prosperity and jobs. There will be 10 years of construction to build a pipeline to capture our CO2 and that one project will create 10,000 jobs. And did you know, 25% of all the rain that falls on England flows out through the Humber – it’s a centre point of all we do”.
Outgoing President Mike Whitehead thanked the Chamber team for their hard work in supporting him during his year as President.
Mike said: “Only as President do you realise how important the Chamber is to the business community – it is the only pan Humber, non taxpayer funded membership organisation, it does a fantastic job – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – this Chamber is the Voice of Business in the Humber!
“My biggest achievement was to play a part in promoting the Chamber, North and South of the Humber and have enjoyed being part of the strong Chamber team, led by Ian.”