First Freeports now up and running

21 December 2022

The UK’s first freeports in Plymouth, Solent and Teesside have received the final government sign off on Wednesday 7 December 2022 and are now fully operating.

Each of these freeports will receive up to £25 million in seed funding from Government to improve local infrastructure and encourage development. It is important as payroll professionals to ensure that we and our systems are calculating the correct amount of employer national insurance contributions (NICs) for eligible freeport employees and the accurate national insurance (NI) category letters are used. You can check if you are eligible for NI relief here.  

Levelling up minister Dehenna Davison said:

‘‘Now they are up and running, these Freeports will harness local expertise to grow vital industries and turbocharge our national economy.’’

‘‘Freeports will generate prosperity and spread opportunity throughout the UK by driving innovation and throwing open our doors to trade with the world.’’

Additionally, Ben Murray, Maritime UK chief executive, said:

‘‘From marine autonomy to defence, advanced manufacturing to decarbonisation, these freeports will help strengthen our maritime clusters and grow our maritime sector; already one of Britain’s biggest industries. We look forward to continuing to work with government to harness the potential of maritime to accelerate levelling-up.’’

Richard Ballantyne OBE, British Ports Association chief executive said:

‘‘We believe strongly that the business benefits Freeport areas include will be pivotal in attracting new investment and jobs to our important coastal regions. This is an exciting time to be involved in the ports sector and we are pleased that policy makers see our industry as a focal point for levelling up.’’

The Government expects the remaining five English freeports to join Plymouth, Solent and Teesside to receive final approvals soon. It is committed to ensure all four corners of the UK benefit from the freeports programme. You can read more on this story here.


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