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Green Freeports in Scotland

Volume 726: debated on Monday 16 January 2023

On 13 January, the UK and Scottish Governments jointly announced that the Firth of Forth, and Inverness and Cromarty Firth have been successful in their bids to establish two new green freeports.

Green freeport status will support the creation of over 75,000 new, high-skilled jobs, drive growth and level up areas that have been previously overlooked. These areas will be backed by up to £52 million in UK Government funding, and potentially hundreds of millions in locally retained business rates, to upgrade local infrastructure and stimulate regeneration. This is alongside a generous package of trade and innovation support for businesses locating there.

Inverness and Cromarty Firth, and the Firth of Forth are excellent locations for these new green freeports, ensuring the benefits are felt right across Scotland. I wish to share my congratulations with the successful locations. Their strong bids demonstrated how they will regenerate their local communities, deliver decarbonisation, establish hubs for global trade and pioneer industries of the future.

Freeports are at the vanguard of levelling up: driving growth, creating jobs and, in turn, transforming the communities that surround them. Green freeports in Scotland will build on the UK Government’s successful freeport programme in England, where all eight freeports are open for business, with sites in Plymouth and South Devon, Solent, Teesside, Liverpool and the east of England recently being granted final Government approval. Green freeports are a tangible example of what can be achieved and delivered when Scotland's two Governments work together.

This Government remain committed to ensuring that the whole of the UK can reap the benefits of our freeports programme. We will be making a freeports announcement relating to Wales shortly and we continue discussions with stakeholders in Northern Ireland about how best to deliver the benefits associated with freeports there.