Bidding process opens for Freeports applications

The bidding process to establish new, innovative Freeports that will boost the economy, create thousands of jobs and turbo-charge post-Brexit trade have now opened.

It means that ports and their communities across England can now apply for Freeport status in a move that will transform historic sea, air and rail ports into national hubs for trade, innovation and commerce to regenerate communities in our industrial heartlands as the nation levels up and builds back better.

Areas given Freeport status will benefit from a wide package of tax reliefs, simplified customs procedures, a streamlined planning processes to boost redevelopment and government support to promote regeneration and innovation. A firm can import goods into a Freeport without paying tariffs, process them into a final good and then either pay a tariff on goods sold into the domestic market, or export the final goods without paying UK tariffs.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our new Freeports will create national hubs for trade, innovation and commerce, levelling up communities across the UK, creating new jobs, and turbo-charging our economic recovery. As we embrace our new opportunities as an independent trading nation, we want to deliver lasting prosperity to the British people and Freeports will be key to delivering this.”

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Our Freeports will be international centres for trade and investment, powering regeneration, job creation and entrepreneurship. I am delighted that ports, councils and their private sector partners can now apply for Freeport status – with all the special opportunities it will bring to their communities and the country.”