First Freeports launched in major economic boost

View of the river tees and ship going past

After attaining government approval on 7 December, the United Kingdom’s first Freeports in Plymouth, Solent, and Teeside are now fully up and running.

The operational inception of these Freeports is expected to spread opportunity and ignite economic growth.

To improve local infrastructure and promote redevelopment, each of these Freeports will receive up to £25 million seed funding and potentially tens of millions of pounds in locally retained business rates.

Tax incentives in Freeports can be leveraged by businesses to thus unlock vital investments and provide high quality jobs to some of the nation’s most impoverished communities. 

Thousands of high competence jobs and millions of pounds in investment are believed to be brought in by these three Freeports combined. 

Levelling Up Minister, Dehenna Davison, said: “Freeports will generate prosperity and spread opportunity throughout the UK by driving innovation and throwing open our doors to trade with the world.”

The Freeports, which are slated to earn up to £25 million each to support local initiatives, has received the final approval from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities.

With this, Teesside can continue to drive industrial growth in renewables, advanced manufacturing and the chemicals and process sectors, creating more than 18,000 highly skilled jobs in the northeast.

Plymouth and south Devon will leverage off of the marine and defence expertise in the region to create thousands of jobs, injecting millions of pounds of investment in the region. 

The ambitious maritime economy in Solent will rise, turning the region into a thriving centre for the marine and maritime industries worldwide. 

READ: BPA calls on Government to support freeports

Ben Murray, Maritime UK Chief Executive, said: “From marine autonomy to defence, advanced manufacturing to decarbonisation, these freeports will help strengthen our maritime clusters and grow our maritime sector; already one of Britain’s biggest industries.”

Freeports gain a set of policy derived incentives. including tax breaks, customs advantages, the retention of business rates, planning, regeneration, innovation, and assistance for trade and investment.

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