The Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership has called for the Humber to be made one of the UK’s first freeports after the Government confirmed that the bidding process is now open.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak set out further details this week on how the Government will create a number of new freeports across the UK to turbocharge post-Brexit trade and create jobs – and LEP Chair Pat Doody wants the Humber to be among the first.
“The Humber is home to one the largest and most far-reaching ports complexes in the UK, and it’s the perfect location to take a leading role in post-Brexit international trade,” he said.
“This would be a massive opportunity for our area and would help bring huge investment and jobs for local people in Lincolnshire in offshore wind, decarbonisation and advanced manufacturing.
“The ports currently employ 35,000 people and handle £74 billion in trade every year.
“Announcing the Humber as a UK freeport will be crucial to this Government’s commitment to levelling up the economy across the UK.”
At least seven freeports are to be established in England, the first as early as next year.
They will benefit from a wide range of tax reliefs, simplified customs procedures and streamlined planning processes to promote regeneration and innovation.
Rishi Sunak said: “Our new freeports will create national hubs for trade, innovation and commerce, levelling up communities across the UK, creating new jobs, and turbocharging 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.”
Businesses can import goods into a freeport without paying tariffs, process them into a final product and then either pay a tariff on the sales into the domestic market or export without paying UK tariffs.
A deadline for bids has been set as Friday 5th February 2021 and decisions are expected to be announced in the spring.