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Chancellor announces Thames Freeport commercial launch

News / Freeports

16th September 2021

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was joined by Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, and freeport partners, at the official commercial opening of the Thames Freeport at the Savoy Hotel in London this week.

The financial freedoms for freeport zones, and the Thames Freeport’s unique location and shovel-ready brownfield sites make it exceptionally attractive to businesses and support the region’s long-term growth and levelling up.

The Thames Freeport will create 25,000 quality jobs, skills opportunities, unlock green initiatives and will attract investment, boosting the local and national economy significantly.

 Kate Willard OBE, Estuary Envoy and Chair of the Thames Estuary Growth Board said: “The Thames Freeport launch is a momentous occasion for the entire Estuary region. By awarding freeport status to the Thames Estuary, the Government has shown belief in its potential as the UK’s number one growth opportunity.

A freeport is a magnet for business and investment, and the economic boost it will bring will ripple across the Estuary, unlocking £400m of port investment and generating tens of thousands of jobs and upskilling opportunities. In the immediate term, this will benefit communities along the Estuary that need it most.

In the longer term, communities can grow around freeports, as training and career opportunities continue to appear, and talent is drawn to the area.

A key part of the Thames Estuary Growth Board’s plan is to champion good, green growth – that means sustainable, economic growth that works as one with our environment and natural resources. The Thames Freeport is vital for this. It will drive forward the development of clean energy, including innovation in hydrogen and low carbon technology, contributing to regional and national net zero targets.

These benefits are crucial to recovery and growth in a post-transition and Covid-managed society, not only for London and the South-East, but for the country as a whole.”

Coinciding with the launch, Thames Freeport partner, DP World announced that it will begin work on a new fourth berth at its London Gateway logistics hub as part of its £300 million investment to support Thames Freeport.

This significant investment will increase the port’s capacity to accommodate the largest vessels in the world and strengthen supply chain resilience.

Find out more about opportunities at the Thames Freeport: