2020 October 7 17:13

Freeports proposals now looking more inclusive for UK ports

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 levelling 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 in across a range of suitable locations."

The Government has today published its response to the Freeports consultation which outlined it’s views on the scope of the proposal, as well next steps in the process.

About BPA
The British Ports Association represents the interests of over 100 port members, covering more than 400 ports, terminal operators and port facilities. The UK ports industry plays a key role in the country’s economy as 95% of the UK’s international trade – imports and exports – is carried through British ports. UK ports also handle more than 60 million international and domestic passenger journeys each year. The UK port industry is the second largest in Europe, handling around 500 million tonnes of freight each year. UK ports directly employ around 115,000 people. The British Ports Association recently produced a video which highlights the importance of ports to the UK’s economy.