Feature, Freight News, Sea

Ports unveil vision for Thames Freeport

[ January 5, 2021   //   ]

DP World and Forth Ports have unveiled their vision for a Thames Freeport, with London Gateway, the Port of Tilbury and Ford’s Dagenham engine plant at its heart as part of the UK government’s competition to create up to ten such operations across the country.
Their initial modelling suggests that a freeport will unlock more than 20,000 new, better paid jobs and many more through local supply chains, while securing over £400 million in port infrastructure, which will lead to a doubling of port capacity.
Thurrock is among the country’s top 25 most skills-deprived areas and the neighbourhoods surrounding Tilbury are amongst the top 10% of overall deprivation. Barking and Dagenham is ranked in the top five local authorities for deprivation – the borough’s unemployment rate is 74% higher than the national average.
Parts of the estuary are in desperate need of support, the ports say.
A Thames Freeport will be a magnet for new investment, jobs, skills development and the adoption of greener technology.
For example, Ford has plans for electric and automated vehicles in-and-around the freeport to reduce pollution and ease congestion.
They add: “With almost 1,000 acres of land ready for development – much with planning consent secured – no other port cluster in the south of England can come close to matching our offer to deliver meaningful economic change and linked community benefits in the lifetime of this Parliament.”