The news that the UK's first freeports in Plymouth, Solent, and Teesside are now fully up and running is welcome and positive news for the economy.
Each of these freeports, which now have official sign off will receive up to £25 million seed funding and potentially tens of millions of pounds in locally retained business rates to upgrade local infrastructure and stimulate regeneration.
The Freeports becoming fully operational on December 7, is according to the government, a major milestone in its mission to level up communities across the country and will help spread opportunity and drive economic growth.
Each of these Freeports in Plymouth, Solent, and Teesside will now receive up to £25 million seed funding and potentially tens of millions of pounds in locally retained business rates to upgrade local infrastructure and stimulate regeneration.
Freeports are special areas within the UK’s borders where different economic regulations apply and they essentially exist outside its borders for tax purposes.
They are not a new idea and the famous Cinque Ports created in medieval time were effectively Freeports and Britain still had a number until they were abolished in 2012, although one still exists in the Isle of Man.
Businesses in Freeports can take advantage of tax incentives, unlocking much-needed investment and bringing high quality jobs in industries of the future to some of the nation’s most overlooked communities.
The Levelling Up Ministry says that combined, the first three Freeports are expected to bring millions of pounds in investment and thousands of highly skilled jobs, turbocharging local economies and benefitting the whole of the UK.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Dehenna Davison said when announcing the formal approval: “We are taking full advantage of the freedoms of leaving the EU and these Freeports in Teesside, Plymouth and South Devon and Solent will attract new business to often overlooked areas, creating thousands of jobs.
“Freeports will generate prosperity and spread opportunity throughout the UK by driving innovation and throwing open our doors to trade with the world.”