The UK Government has outlined its plans for Freeports around the country and expressed a desire for all the nations of the UK to share in the benefits of the hubs which it expects to attract major domestic and international investment. Insider is campaigning to back the various bids for Freeport status and to provide an in-depth guide to the different locations.

Seizing on the opportunities presented by leaving the EU, Freeports will be created across the nation to help drive Britain’s post-Brexit growth.

The UK Government said it is working with the devolved administrations to seek to establish at least one Freeport in each nation of the UK.

At the centre of the new Freeports policy is a flexible customs model, which aims to improve upon both the UK’s existing customs arrangements and the Freeports the UK had previously.

A package of tax reliefs on investment by businesses within Freeport tax sites will also be introduced. A business 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.

Planning processes will also be accelerated to drive development in and around Freeports.

“Our new Freeports will create national hubs for trade, innovation, and commerce, regenerating communities across the UK and supporting jobs,” said UK Government Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

“They will attract investment from around the world as we embrace new opportunities following our departure from the EU and will be a key driver for economic recovery as we build back better post coronavirus.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We continue to have substantial concerns about the risks associated with the UK Government’s determination to pursue a policy of setting up Freeports and we are skeptical about the stated opportunities it would bring to Wales.

“We will continue to work with the UK Government to develop our understanding about the economic impacts. However, it is currently impossible to fully assess the impact on Wales without clarity on the range and scope of the policy, as well as sight of the necessary economic impact analysis and proposed bidding criteria. We are pressing the UK Government to share this information with us urgently.”

Insider is campaigning to back the various bids and provide an in-depth guide to the different locations, outlining what their credentials are and what the long-terms benefits to the economy will be.

We are also canvassing the views of the wider business community with a survey that allows our readers to have their say on the bids and how a Freeport would benefit their firm.