A 36-year-old man has been jailed for 38 months after police found a large cannabis factory in Immingham, containing plants with a street value over £600,000.

Officers searched the property on Owmby Close on the morning of June 12, 2020 and discovered around 1,450 cannabis plants.

Klodjan Hila, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to three years and two months in prison for the cultivation of cannabis, during a court appearance on Tuesday.

The plants he was growing had an estimated street value of £652,500.

Police have pledged to do all they can to make communities safer in the fight against drugs.

Anyone with information about drugs in their local community is being asked to call police on 101 and let officers know.

The Humber sea port and East Midlands Airport have been named as two of eight locations successful in their bids for Freeport status.

Goods that arrive into a Freeport from abroad aren’t subject to the tax charges, called tariffs, that are normally paid to the government. These taxes are only paid if the goods leave the Freeport and are moved elsewhere in the UK.

The other Freeports will be based in Felixstowe & Harwich, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside. The announcement was made in Rishi Sunak’s 2021 Budget on Wednesday, March 3.

A consortium from across the Humber submitted a bid for Freeport Status in February this year. It was led by port operator ABP, with support from local authorities in Hull, East Riding, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire, as well as the Greater Lincolnshire and Humber LEPs.

The region is already home to the UK’s busiest port complex, including four major ports of Hull, Goole, Immingham and Grimsby. Combined they handle around 17% of the nation’s trade.

The new Humber Freeport will contain custom zone sites all across the region including the four main ports.

Three new tax sites on both banks of the Humber will incentivise growth in new manufacturing, research and development and green energy jobs. One of the three sites is located on the Able Marine Development Park in Killingholme, with the other two in Hull and Goole.

Simon Bird, ABP Humber Director and Chair of the Humber Freeport Steerco, said: “Over the coming months we will be focusing on delivery to create the new Freeport, which we expect to bring in major investment to our part of the world and will lead to over 7,000 new jobs for the Humber.

“The benefits of this will be felt far beyond just the Humber, but across Yorkshire, the Midlands and the North West as well.”

He added: “We hope the Freeport will be up and running before the year is over and delivering on bringing new jobs to the Humber from 2022.”

Thousands of sustainable jobs will also be created across North Lincolnshire. There will also be money to help develop Scunthorpe town centre and fund Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP) in Killingholme.

Freeport status will also provide greater security for the future of steel making in Scunthorpe as British Steel is allocated as a special “customs” site. It will offer the area the opportunity to develop three types of sites within the designated Freeport boundary – customs, tax and seed capital.

The customs sites also include Inter Terminals in Immingham, as well as P&O Ferries, IBL Bulk Liquids, AAK International and two UM Group sites in Hull, and ABP’s ports in Grimsby, Goole, Immingham and Hull.

Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “A Humber Freeport will turbocharge our economy and support levelling up in our area, bringing increased investment of £3.5bn and around 7,000 high-quality new jobs.”

Councillor Rob Waltham, Leader at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “I am delighted that we have been selected as one area in only eight across the country to be awarded freeport status. This will make North Lincolnshire a global gateway for trade and investment.

“We have worked hard with the area’s MPs and businesses to deliver this for the area and it is a fantastic show of confidence in North Lincolnshire and its people.

“This will help us recover and renew by delivering sustainable well-paid jobs and attract more wealth-creators to the region.”

Councillor Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, added: “As part of the bid consortium, we believed we had pulled together a compelling and transformational bid for supporting sites across the Humber to provide long-term opportunities for jobs and growth and we’re naturally delighted that Government agreed with us.

“This will help the area make the most of the global opportunities now opening up to Britain and I’m confident it will see even further investment, jobs and opportunities for the Humber to flourish.

“In North East Lincolnshire, it means that we’ll be able to maintain the innovation and momentum we’ve built up in recent years across some of our most important economic sites.

“It really is exciting news and we’re looking forward to working with partners to make the most of the benefits Freeport status will bring to the area.”

Maria Machancoses, director of Midlands Connect, added: “It’s fantastic news that East Midlands Airport has been confirmed as the location of one of eight UK Freeports, as well as the Humber Freeport, which contains Immingham Port in Lincolnshire.

“We will now work in earnest with local authorities to make sure these site are well-connected, and that businesses have the road and rail infrastructure needed to trade with local, national and international partners.”

A sculpture that used to hang on the Kennedy Way shopping precinct in Immingham is claimed to be “safely stored” outside a nearby depot, decaying covered in vegetation.

North East Lincolnshire Council says the storage area is not a tip, as it became apparent from photos shared by surprised residents on Facebook.

The artwork is thought to be called ‘The Growing Family of Immingham’ and was allegedly established in the 1960s when the shopping precinct was built. Residents claim that it was moved in October 2019 before making way for a new £50,000 Forging Forward monument.

A North East Lincolnshire Council spokesperson said: “The artwork is safely stored at our Gilbey Road depot. It’s a piece that takes up a lot of room and has been placed in an area where it won’t be damaged.”

This area is outdoor, as the artwork had to be moved out due to its size. Vegetation is covering the decaying sculpture, as it is exposed to the elements.

The sculpture depicting Immingham Pilgrims which used to hang on the Kennedy Centre.

There have been a mixture of responses to the artwork by residents on Facebook:

Sarah McCabe said: “We should demand it back, it should be in Immingham museum, we’ve got all this other expensive art around the civic, I’d like to see it, it’s part of Immingham history.”

However, Hank Rawlin said: “Sorry, always hated that ugly piece and was pleased to see it removed. I see no beauty in it at all.”

David Watson, Labour councillor for the Immingham ward said: “If my memory serves me right that’s only half of the statue. If a location in Immingham could be found it would be good to have it back.

“The problem is that it is very big and made from fibreglass. It has to be placed against something, as there isn’t a back on it. I have no idea where it could go.”

Elaine Norton from One Voice Community Group told BBC Look North on Tuesday evening: “I think it represents what the town used to be like and what it is now, so that’s why I personally think it would be really good for it to be relocated. It’s an important part of our history.

“So many people have got memories and connect with it in a different way, whether it be because they love it or they hate it, it’s irrelevant.”


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