- Thames Freeport plans to create 21,000 jobs and boost the local economy by £ 2.5 billion, helping to level the country
- The Freeport will be a major player in the UK’s green energy revolution and will bring together industry with local schools, colleges and universities
- The opening comes just weeks after the opening of the UK’s first free port at Teesside
Thames Freeport opened today (December 15, 2021), as the government carries out its central mission of upgrading across the UK.
The Freeport estimates it will attract £ 4.5 billion in new investment and create 21,000 skilled jobs, bringing greater prosperity to some of the country’s poorest communities.
Located at the gateway to the UK’s busiest ports and the largest labor market in London and the South East, the Freeport will create a new global gateway for trade and benefit communities such as Thurrock, Barking, Dagenham and Havering, who have high unemployment rates and child poverty.
The launch comes just weeks after the opening of the UK’s first free port at Teesside.
Thames Freeport covers an economic corridor 34 km wide and is supported by a £ 200million share of government funding and tax incentives.
The free port will be a world-class innovation hub and place the region at the forefront of the cutting-edge sectors of the future, with significant investments in hydrogen technology, battery storage and electric vehicles.
A new Thames Freeport Skills Accelerator will also bring together industry and local schools, colleges and universities to provide training and employment opportunities so that local people can acquire the skills they need and find employment.
Upgrade Minister Neil O’Brien said:
It’s a really exciting and important time for London and the South East.
Thames Freeport will boost the region’s green energy credentials, inject billions into the economy and help level up by creating jobs and opportunities for local talent.
Ford’s Dagenham site is a prime example of how UK businesses will directly benefit and help place our country at the forefront of industries of the future.
Ruth Kelly, President of Thames Freeport, said:
The Thames Freeport will be a new center of excellence for the country.
Thames Freeport partners come together to provide a platform for global Britain.
Freeport offers Ford an excellent opportunity as a test bed for customer-centric mobility technologies; London Gateway has fantastic global connections and land ready for development now; while the Port of Tilbury continues to generate growth in processing, advanced manufacturing and next-generation logistics.
In the March 2021 budget, the Chancellor announced 8 potential free port locations in England, following a fair and open assessment process. These include:
- East Midlands Airport
- Felixstowe & Harwich (known as Freeport East)
- Liverpool City Area
- Plymouth and South Devon
Teesside Freeport opened in November and has a particular focus on green power and offshore wind power.
Freeport East, including the ports of Felixstowe & Harwich, will begin initial operations later this month as eligible businesses based on the tax site will begin to benefit from tax incentives.
The government continues to work with other free ports to ensure they reach this important milestone as soon as they can.
The UK government also remains committed to establishing the free port program in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as soon as possible and is confident that our model embraces the highest employment and environmental standards.