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Green Freeports in Scotland: Bidding Prospectus

Volume 711: debated on Monday 28 March 2022

On 25 March, the UK Government and the Scottish Government jointly launched the bidding prospectus for green freeports, expanding the freeport programme to Scotland. The bidding period will close on 20 June 2022. The green freeports in Scotland bidding prospectus can be found at the below page:

Green Freeports will be at the forefront of delivering the Government’s net zero and levelling up agendas in Scotland. Green freeports will promote regeneration in our local areas by attracting high quality employment opportunities, promoting decarbonisation, increasing trade, and attracting investment to form innovative business clusters. This collaboration between the UK Government and the Scottish Government is evidence of the opportunities available to the whole of the UK through joint delivery of ambitious programmes.

The green freeport programme is based on the same model as the English programme and offers the same raft of incentives. Devolved elements of the offer were created in conjunction with the Scottish Government, with the UK Government sharing the lessons learnt and expertise gained from the English freeport programme.

The customs and tax models are designed to incentivise businesses to invest in green freeports. This is supplemented with seed funding to develop key infrastructure to help level up communities. New measures that speed up planning processes will accelerate this development and new initiatives will encourage innovators to drive additional economic growth and create new jobs. Potential green freeports will have to outline a decarbonisation plan which will not only help protect our environment, but help to reduce our dependence on, and vulnerability to, the fluctuating international fossil fuel market.

Green freeports will be selected according to a transparent and fair competitive bidding process. Officials from the UK and Scottish Governments will jointly assess bids, with Ministers from both Governments having an equal say on the final selection. Both Governments will look for a commitment from prospective green freeports to collaborate closely with key partners across the public and private sectors.

The UK Government will build upon this success and continue to work with the other devolved administrations to extend the freeport programme across the rest of the UK.