A new generation of freeports

Victoria Alford considers the objectives behind the government’s new freeport policy and how the tax reliefs will be implemented

In February 2020, the government published a consultation on freeport policy outlining plans to introduce at least ten freeports in the United Kingdom following our departure from the European Union. During the Budget on 3 March, and following a competitive bidding process, the locations of eight of these new freeports were announced: East Midlands Airport, Felixstowe and Harwich, Humber, Liverpool City Region, Plymouth, Solent, Thames and Teesside.

Freeports are intended to play a large part in the government’s policy to level up opportunities across the country and its Covid-19 crisis recovery plans, providing the opportunity to enhance trade and investment across the UK, boost growth and high-skilled jobs, and increase innovation and productivity in deprived port regions.