Humber Freeport has welcomed a new Government roadmap which aims to accelerate trade and investment in key port areas across the country.

The Freeports Delivery Roadmap is designed to build on the £2.9bn of investment and 6,000 jobs already created at Freeport sites, including the Humber.

It includes a new £150m investment fund which will help Freeports respond quickly to large land investment opportunities, which are seen as vital to the future success of Freeport areas.

The window to claim special tax reliefs at English Freeport sides has also been extended from five years to ten – securing a decade of growth for port communities.

Simon Bird, Chair of Humber Freeport, said: “The impact Freeport status has already had in the Humber region is very tangible. Humber Freeport tax sites are attracting significant inward investment, which in turn creates rich employment, skills and innovation opportunities.

“We’re pleased that the Government is further strengthening its support of Freeports. This roadmap provides a robust platform for us to build on the positive progress which has already been achieved in the Humber.”

Simon Bird, Chair of Humber Freeport

Other measures announced in the roadmap include:

  • The UK Infrastructure Bank will work with Freeports to finance upgrades to infrastructure.
  • Ensuring joint working between Freeports, Institutes of Technology and local colleges, and linking local jobseekers to opportunities at Freeports through Jobcentre Plus.
  • Bringing Government departments together to look at targeted interventions where Freeports face barriers to investment.
  • Creating an independent advisory panel for Freeports, to increase the business voice within the programme.

Minister for Levelling Up, Jacob Young, said: “We are already seeing the vast and undeniable opportunities that Freeports are bringing, having brought in almost £3bn of investment, which will create thousands of long-term jobs in sectors of the future.

“Our action plan in the Freeports Delivery Roadmap will maximise the potential of these communities to become centres of innovation and investment, with clear delivery timeframes to ensure rapid progress.

“Our goal is to improve lives for local people in areas historically overlooked and Freeports are helping us achieve that.”

Some of the measures outlined in the Freeports Delivery Roadmap also apply to Investment Zones, which are boosting productivity and growth in areas in need of levelling up.

Since its launch, significant investments have been announced in Humber Freeport tax sites in Hull and Goole.

Investments announced have included Finnish company Metsä Tissue’s plans to build the UK’s largest tissue paper mill in Goole, creating more than 400 jobs on site.

At Saltend Chemicals Park – part of the Hull East tax site – Pensana is investing more than £150m in rare earth processing facility, while Meld Energy plans to invest £180m in a green hydrogen production facility.

Humber Freeport has also allocated almost £25m in seed capital funding to seven key projects across the region to further stimulate growth and create hundreds of jobs.


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