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Financial incentives for businesses at Thames Freeport start today

19th November 2021

A range of financial incentives which make it economically attractive for businesses to locate at Thames Freeport will apply from today (19 November).

Anyone setting up a new manufacturing, clean energy or logistics business at the Thames Freeport will be able to access tangible economic benefits which are available across the three tax sites at Ford Dagenham, the Port of Tilbury and London Gateway’s Logistics Park.  The substantial sites are ready for development now.

Freeports are special areas within the UK’s borders where different economic regulations apply. These include a range of tax incentives, including business rates relief for five years, enhanced capital allowances, relief from stamp duty and exemption from employer national insurance contributions for new and additional employees.

These tax reliefs are designed to encourage the maximum number of businesses to open, expand and invest in the country’s freeports which in turn will boost skilled, highly paid employment.

Launching at the conclusion of International Trade Week, Rt Hon Ruth Kelly, Chair of Thames Freeport, declared: “Thames Freeport is open for business.  This package of measures potentially reduces property ownership costs for new businesses by 50%, offering a massive fillip to our 1,700-acre development platform – much with planning consent.  The accelerated development of these sites will bring significant economic and regeneration benefits to the communities and businesses based along the Thames Estuary corridor.”

Perry Glading, Deputy Chair of the Thames Estuary Growth Board and Joint Lead for Freeports, said: “Today’s announcement is great news for the business community. The Thames Freeport is a hugely attractive proposition for business with its unrivalled location and connectivity, development-ready sites and financial benefits. This will help unlock the jobs, skills, investment and environmental benefits that will ripple across the Estuary and help level up communities in the region.”

Martha Grekos, Thames Estuary Growth Board Joint Lead for Freeports, added: “The Thames Freeport is a keystone of our vision to boost the local economy and unlock the regeneration potential of the Estuary. Not only is it an exciting opportunity to enhance existing operations, the freeport is a natural location for attracting a wide range of businesses and promoting innovation, including hydrogen. These fantastic financial incentives show we’re in a good place for business and investment. In turn, this will make a difference to the quality of life and employment opportunities for people here.”

The Thames Freeport is an economic zone connecting Ford’s world-class Dagenham engine plant, the global ports at London Gateway and Tilbury, and many communities in urgent need of ‘levelling-up’.  Many of the UK’s most deprived communities are in London and the South East.

Businesses looking to expand are being urged to take advantage of the tax benefits of relocating to the Freeport and being part of a customs zone, which will enable the businesses to continue to have low friction trade processes with the EU and global markets.

No location can match Thames Freeport for access to rail, road, river and international maritime routes, it represents a faster, more cost-effective, and more environmentally responsible way to service domestic and European markets.

Thames Freeport benefits include:

  • Over £4.5 billion in new public and private investment
  • 21,000+ new jobs with many more across supply chains, with significant investment in training and skills
  • 1,700 acres of development land – much with planning consent
  • £400 million port terminal investment into some of the most deprived areas
  • Freeports are in our partners’ DNA – DP World began as a free trade zone in Jebel Ali, while Tilbury was a freeport until 2012.

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Photo: Ariel view of London Gateway, credit