Eight freeports will be established in England as part of the British finance minister’s annual budget unveiled yesterday.
The first tranche of freeports include successful bids from East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe/Harwich, Liverpool, Humber, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside. However more designations could be needed elsewhere to prevent regions losing out.
Commenting on the developments, Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association – the trade body representing UK ports and terminals which has promoted a policy of port zoning akin to the Freeports concept – said:
“We welcome this as a first tranche of freeports in England but there will be regions that are disappointed not to have been recognized. These are an interesting selection of bids and we look forward to a continuing a partnership with Ministers who rightly recognizes the critical role that ports can play in anchoring prosperity and supporting important industries in our coastal communities.
“It is important that the Government now considers how it can extend many of these benefits elsewhere if it is serious about its implementing its levelling up agenda.”
Photo of Liverpool: Peel Ports