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What are Freeports?

Freeports are a series of special economic zones, selected by the government, where customs rules (such as taxes) do not apply until goods leave the stated zone. Freeports aim to boost economic activity in the local area and bolster manufacturing, with 10 freeports planned so far. The most significant Freeports to Greater Lincolnshire will be the Humber Freeport and the East Midlands Freeport

Humber Freeport

Due to its location, which encompasses the busiest port complex in the UK, the Humber Freeport can provide growth at scale. The freeport’s creation has the potential to create new jobs, boost the local economy and support regeneration projects across Greater Lincolnshire and the Humber. In particular, it is expected that surrounding areas including Goole, Scunthorpe, Hull and Immingham will thrive thanks to this new freeport status. The Humber Freeport’s location also means its economic reach is nationwide, and as the Humber port complex provides 10% of the UK’s energy and 25% of fuel for the country’s vehicles, it also has a big part to play in decarbonisation.

East Midlands Freeport

East Midlands Freeport (EMF) is a unique inland Freeport at the heart of the UK's economy. Straddling three East Midlands counties, EMF features three main sites in North West Leicestershire, Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire, and in South Derbyshire. The sites are strategically located with strong existing road and rail freight infrastructure connecting them to all other parts of the country, including seaport-based freeports. EMF will drive significant and transformative economic regeneration across the East Midlands through sustainable and inclusive growth, boosting employment and skills opportunities, and delivering infrastructure and green investment and innovation.

How can the Freeports benefit my business?

The creation of the Humber Freeport and the East Midlands Freeport can benefit Greater Lincolnshire businesses in a number of ways:

  • Investment: The Freeports will attract new investment and encourage trade
  • Trade: Their creation will help to improve current practices and draw prospects for trade growth, with particular benefits for specific sectors
  • Regeneration: The Freeports will help the area to take advantage of ideas and investment from the private sector, leading to sustainable economic growth. The Freeports will also support emerging industrial clusters and sectors currently growing, as well as utilise and support skills in the local market
  • Create hotbeds of innovation: The Freeports will be an exciting environment for innovators, giving forward-thinkers the space to develop ideas and new technologies. The Freeports will help to foster research and development, as well as the testing and application of new goods and services.

Key measures

  • Custom zones: Includes relief of payment of duty/VAT until good exit the zone and the ability to move goods between custom zones
  • Tax sites
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax Relief
  • Enhanced Structures and Buildings capital allowance
  • Enhanced Plant and Equipment capital allowance
  • Employers National Insurance relief on salaries up to £25k
  • Business Rates holiday
  • Note tax benefits apply within a ten-year window (2021-2031)
  • Tax benefits aimed at new investment
  • Freeport Regulatory Engagement Network, which aims to speed up the development of new ideas and technologies.