7 October 2020
Responding to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s statement on Freeports, the British Ports Association has welcomed the suggestion that the government was minded to be more inclusive regarding the number of ports that could potentially be designated.
The Chancellor also announced that the Freeports selection process will begin before the end of the year and will see the first English sites set up by the end of 2021. Commenting, Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association, which has been lobbying for a port zoning economic vision akin to the Freeports strategy, said:
“This is a welcome development and by being more inclusive in terms of the number of Freeports there might be, the Government can now explore how to better deliver on its leveling up agenda without picking regions over each other. Coastal communities are often in areas of high deprivation and have also experienced challenges resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown so this potentially transformative policy will be welcomed across a range of suitable locations.”
The Government has today published its response to the Freeports consultation which outlined its views on the scope of the proposal, as well next steps in the process. Details are available here.