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Alister Jack Visits Teesside Freeport

The Scottish Secretary saw first-hand the benefits of UK Freeport status, just ahead of bidding closing for two Scottish Green Freeports.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack yesterday [9 June] visited Teesside Freeport in Middlesbrough.

With just over a week to go before bidding closes on the competition for the two Scottish Green Freeports, Mr Jack met the operators of the Teesside Freeport to hear about the benefits to businesses and the local community of their Freeport status.

The UK Government is investing up to £52 million to bring two Green Freeports to Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government. The new hubs will support the regeneration of communities in Scotland, bring jobs and prosperity, and support UK Government work to level up all parts of the United Kingdom.

Following a twelve-week process, bids from prospective operators need to be in by 10am on Monday 20 June. Bidders must set out how they will regenerate their area, create high quality jobs, and support transition to a net-zero economy.

Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack yesterday said:

I was very pleased to visit the Teesside Freeport today, and hear first-hand how their Freeport status is helping attract business, investment and jobs to the area.

As the first in the UK, it is a fantastic example of what can be achieved, securing multimillion-pound investments in renewables production to contribute to our long-term energy security.

UK Freeports are a key part of the UK Government’s Levelling Up strategy – they will bring innovation, jobs, prosperity and regeneration. It is great news that we will shortly bring two UK Freeports to Scotland. There is a huge amount of interest from Scottish operators, and I look forward to seeing a strong set of bids.

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, yesterday said:

It was an honour to welcome the Scottish Secretary to the Teesside Freeport and show him everything we’re achieved in just a few short months since its launch. We’re pioneering the cleaner, healthier and safer industries of the future, with many of them coming to our area because of our Freeport status.

Alister Jack is just the latest minister we’ve welcomed to Teesworks and our Freeport. We’ve hosted everyone, from politicians such as Michael Gove MP, the Levelling Up Secretary, and Helen Whately MP, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, to business bosses like BP’s CEO Bernard Looney and Barclays CEO CS Venkatakrishnan.

Our Freeport is on course to supercharge Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, creating thousands of good quality, well-paid jobs and driving billions into the local economy.

UK Freeports are special areas where different economic regulations apply. Freeports are centred around one or more air, rail, or seaport, and can extend up to 45km beyond the port(s).

Any sea, air or rail port can apply as part of a consortium with other businesses, the council, and other relevant public bodies. Any consortium wishing to bid to establish a Green Freeport must guarantee that local communities will benefit from it, as well as delivering on ambitious targets for Net Zero.

Covering 4,500 acres, the Teesside Freeport was the first of the UK Freeports to open, in November last year. It is expected to create more than 18,000 new highly skilled jobs over the next five years, and generate billions for the local economy. It has already secured multimillion-pound investment from GE Renewables to build a new offshore wind blade manufacturing plant.

Further information about the Teesside Freeport can be found here.

Further information about the bidding process for the Scottish Green Freeports can be found here.


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