The Plymouth & South Devon Freeport is now ‘Up and Running’
Having recently secured final approval from the government, it’s now full steam ahead for the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport initiative. It is now set to receive £25m of seed funding (and potentially considerably more in retained business rates) to upgrade infrastructure and stimulate regeneration. Moreover, with various allowances to boost the economy, it is fully expected to attract significant inward investment and create thousands of jobs. For the fuller picture please read the bulletin below issued by Insider news today.
Roger Mundy, Managing Director, Beardsley Theobalds, 7th December 2022
FINAL APPROVAL FOR PLYMOUTH AND SOUTH DEVON FREEPORT
The Plymouth and South Devon Freeport – which could help bring forward at least 3,500 jobs and provide a major boost for the area – is fully up and running after securing government approval.
The Freeport will create a zone designated with certain allowances designed to boost the economy, including lower taxes and customs, such as favourable tariffs, VAT or duties.
It has been designed to supercharge the South West economy by building on the region's national capabilities in marine, defence and space to form "globally impactful clusters and a UK innovation superpower".
The Plymouth and South Devon Freeport will attract new investment and provide supply chain opportunities, as well as embedding a commitment to tackling climate change, and bringing forward clean growth and marine decarbonisation.
It has been approved alongside sites in Teesside and Solent, with each now set to receive up to £25m of seed funding and potentially tens of millions of pounds in locally retained business rates to upgrade infrastructure and stimulate regeneration.
Combined, the trio are expected to help create thousands of highly skilled jobs.
The remaining five English Freeports are expected to join Plymouth, Solent and Teesside in receiving final approvals shortly.
Levelling up minister Dehenna Davison said: "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.
"Now they are up and running, these Freeports will harness local expertise to grow vital industries and turbocharge our national economy.
"Freeports will generate prosperity and spread opportunity throughout the UK by driving innovation and throwing open our doors to trade with the world."
Richard Ballantyne, chief executive of the British Ports Association, added: "Congratulations to the Plymouth, Solent and Tees Freeports as there has been a lot of hard work to get to this stage. We welcome the next chapter of this key economic policy and want to see Freeports work for their regions as well as the whole of the UK.
"We believe strongly that the business benefits Freeport areas include will be pivotal in attracting new investment and jobs to our important coastal regions. This is an exciting time to be involved in the ports sector and we are pleased that policy makers see our industry as a focal point for levelling up."