benhouchen
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has welcomed today’s news that the government will create ten ‘Free Ports’ across the UK.
Jane Imrie

Teesside ‘Free Port’ could create 32,000 jobs across the region

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has welcomed today’s news that the government will create ten ‘Free Ports’ across the UK.

Ports and airports across the country will be invited to bid to become one of the ten designated Free Ports.

Free Ports would provide special freedoms to trade within a specific area around a major port. Free Port status supports the expansion of international trade by offering exemptions from certain operational, regulatory and customs requirements.

The Mayor has campaigned for Free Ports over a 19 month period, which has been rolled out across the UK by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson who called it an “excellent way to boost business and trade”.

Mayor Ben Houchen explained: “Free Ports have the potential to turbocharge our regional economy after Brexit, bringing desperately-needed jobs, growth and investment here and making us a magnet for even more international investment.

“This is a game changing opportunity to reshore manufacturing jobs we haven’t seen in this country for decades to the former Redcar steelworks site.

“As we leave the EU and reclaim our place as an open, outward-looking trading nation once more, a Free Port would be beyond transformational for our region, helping us build our current strengths in chemical processing, energy and logistics industries.”

Newcastle’s Port of Tyne is also expected to bid to become a Free Port. Matt Beeton, Port of Tyne chief executive officer, commented: “We welcome the announcement today from the Trade Secretary and look forward to progressing our Free Port application.”

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