Locations across the North East are among the sites vying for Freeport status as the UK Government looks to turbo-charge post-Brexit trade. Insider is launching a campaign 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.
Freeports, which are set to create jobs, drive investment and regenerate communities, will have different customs rules than the rest of the country, including streamlined planning processes to aid brownfield redevelopment; a package of tax reliefs to help drive jobs, growth and innovation; and simplified customs procedures and duty suspensions on goods.
The Freeport bidding process is to open before the end of the year, with the first locations set to be open by the end of 2021
In the North East, two potential bidders are emerging: the North East Free Trade Zone Bid which covers an area of approximately 250 acres and incorporates a number of sites, and the Teesside Freeport Bid which would be developed on land managed by the South Tees Development Corporation.
Further details of the individual North East proposals will be outlined by Insider this week.
We are also canvassing the views of the wider business community with a survey which allows our readers to have their say on the bids and how a Freeport would benefit their firm. Click here to complete the survey.
More than 20 locations across the UK are known to have expressed an interest in securing Freeport status and Insider has created a special web-page to provide an overview of the runners and riders.
There are currently thought to be ten Freeport sites under consideration but this could change if strong bids for other regions are received by government.
With the bidders spread throughout the UK, Insider’s campaign will represent the views of businesses in each location to find out where the greatest impact will be.
Insider’s campaign will culminate with a report delivered to No.10 Downing Street outlining just how – as a result of benefitting from a Freeport in their region – companies will invest further in their people, in their businesses, and power the future economic growth of the UK.