Attracting investment, stimulating green skills, creating jobs and training opportunities are some of the key benefits Freeport status will bring to the Solent, which were highlighted at a webinar held by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with the Institute of Export and International Trade last week.
Brian Johnson, Chair of the Solent LEP and Interim Chair of the Solent Freeport Consortium Ltd, said:
“The Solent Freeport is critical to ensuring that the UK can remain competitive on an international stage in the years ahead and is a significant opportunity to level up our important coastal communities. It will create high quality employment space, with investment specifically targeted at state-of-the-art growth sectors and ground-breaking approaches to decarbonisation and green innovation.”
Around 250 people attended the online webinar to hear more about the benefits a Solent Freeport will bring to individual businesses, how successful freeports operate in other parts of the world, taxation benefits to businesses and streamlined customs processes.
As the nation’s global gateway, the Solent is ideally placed to maximise the benefits of Freeport status as the UK develops new trading relationships with the world.
Kevin Shakespeare, Director of the Institute of Export and International Trade, said:
“The Solent Freeport is a major opportunity for the UK as it seeks to strengthen its trading position and develop new trading relationships, and benefits from both a deep sea hub and short sea crossing to EU. This is an exciting phase of Freeport development, and today has been a valuable opportunity to speak directly with UK businesses on how they can benefit from freeports.”
Freeports are areas designated by the government that will benefit from incentives to encourage economic activity. Freeports operate with both ‘tax’ and ‘customs’ sites. Tax sites offer occupiers business rates relief and other incentives to support capital investment, skills and employment.
Business rates growth generated at the tax sites can be retained locally and re-invested in the area. Customs sites help enable the tariff-free movement of goods for both export and import through simplified customs procedures.
The Solent’s strategic national connectivity by rail, highway and air provide a geographic advantage stronger than any other UK region seeking to trade.
Further information is available at www.solentfreeport.com.