One of the Government’s pre - Brexit strategies was to establish 10 freeports in the UK. Now that the first two ports have begun operations, we discuss what freeports are and the opportunities they may present.
Freeports are areas with special status, where a number of measures including tax and customs incentives are offered to eligible businesses. The Government states that they will provide a range of support in relation to planning, navigating regulations for innovation and attracting investment.
Freeports are already an important part of international trade infrastructure, with areas such as Hong Kong, Shanghai and Piraeus all categorized as special economic areas. With the last of the UK’s previous contingent of freeports expiring in 2012, and the changing international trade situation following the UK’s departure from the EU, the Government’s commitment to freeports has been renewed.
The measure featured in the current (at the time of writing) Prime Minister’s first speech in office and the policy has been progressed since.
The government provided a list of 8 freeport sites in March 2021:
The Government has stated that operations have begun at Teesside and Thames, and it estimates state that the two sites should create more than 39,000 jobs and attract billions of pounds in new investments. And with the Brexit transition rules having come to an end in December 2020 and full customs checks applying from January 2022, more importers and exporters will be considering their routes to market and the potential benefits of using the freeports as more come online.
This potential economic boon for these areas is attracting property investment and development into these new and upcoming freeport sites, with an enhanced need for warehouse space, haulage facilities, and ancillary infrastructure. The Government has committed seed money for each freeport to assist with infrastructure provision.
We are able to advise in relation to site set up, construction and landlord and tenant lease matters, as well as sale, purchase and funding of warehouse space or other commercial space. As a full service firm, we can also provide support relating to planning and corporate enquiries.
Please contact us to find out how we can assist you.