The Liverpool City Region LEP and local business leaders have welcomed the announcement today that Liverpool City Region has been awarded Freeport status.
A Free Trade Zone for the City Region will contribute around £850m GVA and create 14,000 jobs, as well as lead on solutions to meet the regions Net Zero Carbon targets for 2040.
The bid, submitted last month to government, had huge support from the private sector and was supported and formally endorsed by the Liverpool City Region LEP builds on the City Region’s maritime history and unique position as a Western-facing port with established Transatlantic and Irish Sea trade links.
Welcoming the news Asif Hamid MBE, Chair of the Liverpool City Region LEP said: “This is a groundbreaking announcement for the City Region. The multi-gateway, multi-modal Freeport will enable key sites across the Liverpool City Region to attract new investment, create jobs, support the wider economy and increase levels of innovation.
“It also has the potential for future opportunities in hydrogen, offshore wind and tidal power, ensuring our City Region becomes a focal point of the Government’s Net Zero ambitions and a global beacon for investment in renewable technologies.
“I would like to thank all those involved in this pulling the bid together and I look forward to working with local partners on the delivery of the implementation plan of the Freeport Zone.”
The core opportunities of a Freeport Zone are:
- Increase trade through the Port of Liverpool and other City Region gateways, improving efficiency of flows and driving employment growth.
- Develop a globally significant cluster of port, manufacturing, logistics and innovation activity.
- Be a central tool in attracting inward investment.
- Regenerate areas of deprivation and create sustainable job creation.
- Make a significant contribution in rebalancing UK freight and logistics.
- Improve links to national, regional and City Regional infrastructure assets.
- Support the enablement of national and local ambitions for Net Zero.
The Freeport will be shaped to support the delivery of City Region’s vision outlined in the Local Industrial Strategy and Economic Recovery Plan: for a globally competitive, environmentally responsible, and socially inclusive City Region.
Delighted with the news, Chris Shirling-Rooke MBE Chief Executive Mersey Maritime said: “Our entire sector is over the moon with the announcement from the chancellor this afternoon, regarding the Liverpool Freeport bid. As an industry we understand the incredible opportunity this project will present for our coastal community. Working with other key sectors in the region and our partners at the LEP, we couldn’t have asked for a better example of public private partnership coming together for the good of the region to drive jobs, growth and sustainability.”
Mark Whitworth, CEO, Peel Ports said: “We are thrilled to hear that the Liverpool City Region has been announced as a Freeport., this will offer a much needed boost to the region, creating investment, regeneration and redevelopment opportunities, all of which, will have a positive impact on local economic growth.
“Peel Ports are delighted to be part of the bid team. Our recent infrastructure investments provide a modern gateway for businesses in Northern England to trade globally more efficiently and the tariff and tax benefits offered by Freeports make the port and city region a perfect choice through which to invest in and trade internationally” In turn, Freeport status will also bring new opportunities for local businesses, employment, apprenticeships and training to the region and we’re looking forward to further driving long term, sustainable growth for many generations to come.”