8 months after Rishi Sunak announced 8 new freeports to be built after Brexit, Teesside Freeport is the first one to officially open for business as of Friday 19th November.
During the announcement, Brexit Minister Lord David Frost made the following opening statement about the opening:
“Having left the European Union, we now have the freedom to do things differently, including setting up new freeports to turbocharge our trade with the world’s fastest growing markets.
Today’s announcement is great news for Teesside and it shows that we are maximising the opportunities of Brexit to create well-paid jobs and drive growth right across the UK.
As well as more freeports, we want to go further and faster to create a competitive, regulatory environment which supports innovation and boosts inwards investment.”
Following COP26, and the urgency of driving towards carbon-zero to slow climate change, the Teesside freeport is to be at the forefront of the U.K.’s drive to achieve net-zero emissions.
The next 2 sites to become operation will be the Humber and the Thames, both of which have had their tax sites determined this week.
What are the benefits of the Teesside freeport?
Manufacturers, importers, and exporters operating within the Teesside freeport area will have suspension of some customs formalities. This will reduce costs and improve trading as companies will be able to be more competitive with the increased tax-efficiency when processing the raw materials in their production lines.
In addition to companies with an existing local presence benefitting from the Teesside freeport, thousands of jobs are expected to be created in the green energy sector due to an initiative from GE Renewables.
Due to the positioning of Teesside, next to the North Sea, it is in an ideal location for the offshore industry. GE Renewables will be investing millions of pounds to create a wind turbine blade manufacturing plant, which is estimated to provide 750 manufacturing jobs, as well as 1500 more across the supply chain. This plant is expected to be a key contributor to Dogger Bank, a UK initiative to build the largest wind farm in the world.
When will the other freeports open in the UK?
The next 2 freeports to open will be the Humber and the Thames, both of which have had their tax sites approved this week.
In addition to these, there are sites due to be opened at Felixstowe and Harwich, Liverpool City, Plymouth, Solent, and East Midlands Airport.
Scotland is due to have 1 freeport from the UK government and a competing freeport from the Scottish Government, following a disagreement between West Minister and the SNP on how the freeports will be regulated.
Concerned about how the Teesside freeport or the “real” Brexit will affect your business?