Business demand at Thames Freeport booms one year on from new status


Thames Freeport has claimed it is experiencing sky-high demand from businesses aiming to relocate to its investment zone following freeport status granted last year.

Tenants at the Thames Freeport – Ford, DP World and Forth Ports – have made the claim on the on the 12-month anniversary of the UK Government’s announcement.

The sites have experienced unparalleled demand, Thames Freeport wrote, with an array of businesses from a diverse range of sectors aiming to take advantage of substantial financial incentives offered by freeport status.

Benefits including zero stamp duty on leases, significant savings on employer national insurance contributions, accelerated capital allowances and a five year business rates holiday.

DP World recently revealed that a third business in four months will be locating at its port-centric logistics park, with construction underway on a second speculative unit in less than a year. DP World will also commit to a new £300m fourth berth at London Gateway.

Ruth Kelly, Chair of Thames Freeport, said: “The growth at our manufacturing and logistics cluster continues to go from strength-to-strength, as businesses fast track their investment decisions to be located at Thames Freeport.”

Ernst Schulze, Chief Executive of DP World in the UK, added: “We have seen the best year for new business in a decade at our port- centric logistics park, which is the size of 400 football pitches and will soon become home to a workforce 10,000-strong.

“We can work with customers on their building requirements of up to 1 million square feet and deliver bespoke solutions via a 28 day planning agreement with the local council.”

There remains concern over the impact of freeports in building growing innovation and encouraging investment into port communities, experts have told PTI. 

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