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News / Freeports

1st October 2020
  • Thames Estuary Growth Board agrees guiding principles for freeport proposals
  • Proposals must show benefits for local communities, workforce and residents
  • Principles demonstrate Board’s dedication to deliver action plan, The Green Blue

22 September, 2020: The Thames Estuary Growth Board, led by Estuary Envoy Kate Willard, has set out guiding principles for freeport proposals within the region. Putting the needs and interests of Estuary residents first, the principles lay out what the Board expects from a freeport and how this will benefit the Estuary region.

Freeports have different customs rules to the rest of the country. The government aims for freeports to become innovative hubs, boost global trade, attract inward investment and increase productivity. As well as tariff flexibility, customs facilitations and tax measures, freeport status will offer wider benefits for businesses such as planning reforms, funding for infrastructure improvements and innovation incentives.

Setting out criteria for freeports is a key step in the Board’s activity since the launch of their action plan, ‘The Green Blue’. Having set out a vision to boost the local economy and unlock the potential of the Estuary, the Board’s requirements for freeport proposals demonstrate their collective influence, as well as their drive to push forward infrastructure changes that will benefit the local communities and residents.

Estuary Envoy, Kate Willard, said: “The Thames Estuary is well placed to become one of ten freeports proposed for the UK. The freeport will generate jobs and opportunities for the whole area, benefitting communities along the Estuary that need it most. The emerging freeport proposals must align with The Green Blue to truly maximise the benefits, potential and opportunities within the Estuary, that we as a Board have our sights set on fulfilling.”

Download the full press release HERE