East Midlands apply for UK Freeport status
13th December 2021
An East Midlands consortium has applied for Freeport status in the UK.
8 Freeports planned to create new trade links
The government intends to create 8 Freeports to create new trade links following the country’s exit from the European Union. The free port status is designed to encourage economic activity in the surrounding area and increase manufacturing. This is because Freeports are similar to enterprise zones and will be designated geographical areas, recognised in law, where businesses can benefit from more generous tax reliefs, customs benefits, simpler planning and wider government support.
Benefits to businesses located within a designated Freeport area
Businesses can import goods or raw materials, make finished products, store them and re-export them without paying any tax charges, which they would pay if located elsewhere. The taxes are only paid if the goods leave the freeport and are moved elsewhere in the UK. Companies inside the sites will also be offered temporary tax breaks, mostly lasting five years. These include reductions to the tax companie’s pay on their existing property, and when they buy new buildings. Employers will also pay reduced national insurance for new staff.
Transforming the region’s social and economic future
At the heart of the UK, the East Midlands are uniquely placed to capitalise and innovate on its industrial strengths in advanced manufacturing, automotive and logistics and strengthen connectivity across the wider region to stimulate investment. East Midlands Airport is already the country’s busiest pure freight airport, it could become a hub for a new era of global trade and a magnet for new investment to renew infrastructure. Developing and driving innovation, alternative energy sources and green technology - whilst supporting SME's and large regional employers, including Rolls-Royce, Toyota, and Alstom (formerly Bombardier).
East Midlands Freeport could stimulate 60,000 jobs
East Midlands Freeport is the only inland Freeport announced and it is hoped it will bring in over 60,000 jobs. The East Midlands Freeport bid includes the East Midlands Airport and East Midlands Gateway industrial cluster in North-West Leicestershire, the Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station site in Nottinghamshire and East Midlands Automotive Intermodal Park, which is a new strategic rail freight interchange incorporating 5.2 million sq ft of manufacturing and distribution space in Etwall, South Derbyshire.