Freight News, Sea

Thames Freeport opens for business

[ December 17, 2021   //   ]

Thames Freeport officially opened for business on 15 December, a few weeks after the UK’s first freeport opened for business in Teesside.

Thames Freeport covers a 34 km-wide economic corridor and promises “a world class hub of innovation” that will “put the region at the forefront of the cutting-edge sectors of the future, with significant investment in hydrogen technology, battery storage and electric vehicles”.

A new Thames Freeport Skills Accelerator will also bring industry together with local schools, colleges and universities to provide training and job opportunities so that local people can gain the skills they need and secure employment.

Minister for Levelling Up Neil O’Brien MP said: “Thames Freeport will turbocharge 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 great example of how British businesses will directly benefit and help to put our country at the forefront of the industries of the future.

Chair of Thames Freeport, Ruth Kelly, added: “The freeport provides Ford with a great opportunity as a test bed for customer-focused mobility technologies; London Gateway has fantastic global connections and land ready for development now; while the Port of Tilbury continues to deliver growth across processing, advanced manufacturing and next generation logistics.”

Thames Freeport is one of eight locations announced by the Chancellor in his Budget in March. Teesside Freeport opened for business in November and has a specific focus on green energy and offshore wind power.

Freeport East, including the ports of Felixstowe & Harwich, will begin initial operations later this month as eligible businesses that base themselves in the tax site start to benefit from tax incentives.

The government is continuing to work with other freeports to ensure they start operations as soon as they are able. It also remains committed to establishing the freeport programme in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as soon as possible.