The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.
Jane Imrie

Chancellor Rishi Sunak: Freeports to “turbo-charge” economic recovery

Bidding has officially opened for new trade hubs that are set to create new jobs and support the UK’s economic recovery.

The bidding process in England has opened to establish at least seven new freeports, as part of a wider plan to create at least 10 across the UK.

Ports and communities across the country have been invited to bid to become one of the planned Freeports, which aim to encourage international trading in a post-Brexit economy.

A firm 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.

Areas granted freeport status will also benefit from a package of tax reliefs, including on purchasing land, constructing or renovating buildings, investing in new plant and machinery assets and on Employer National Insurance Contributions.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, commented: “Our new freeports will create national hubs for trade, innovation and commerce, levelling up communities across the UK, creating new jobs, and turbo-charging our economic recovery.

“As we embrace our new opportunities as an independent trading nation, we want to deliver lasting prosperity to the British people and freeports will be key to delivering this.”

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, added: “Our Freeports will be international centres for trade and investment, powering regeneration, job creation and entrepreneurship.

“I am delighted that ports, councils and their private sector partners can now apply for Freeport status – with all the special opportunities it will bring to their communities and the country.”

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