Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
UK and Welsh governments reach £26 million deal to establish new Freeport in Wales
- Also published by:
- Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, Welsh Government
An agreement has been reached between the UK and Welsh governments to collaborate and deliver a new Freeport in Wales.
- More jobs and investment will be brought to Wales as agreement is reached to establish a new Freeport
- Bidders must set out how the Freeport will boost the local economy, support good-quality, secure jobs and transition to a net-zero economy
- A Welsh Freeport will be backed by £26 million in UK government funding, delivering on plans to level up whole of UK
An agreement has been reached between the UK and Welsh governments to collaborate and deliver a new Freeport in Wales (12 May 2022).
Backed by millions in UK government funding, the Freeport will support the regeneration of communities in Wales by attracting new businesses, jobs and investment, as well as growing the Welsh economy.
Bidders must show how they will create high-quality employment opportunities offering good salaries and conditions and meet the governments’ shared climate change commitments to reach net zero by 2050.
In another landmark step in cooperation, officials from UK and Welsh governments will jointly assess the bids in a fair and transparent selection process to ensure that the best possible sites come forward and that it delivers the maximum benefits to communities across Wales.
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson MP said:
Wales has a proud history of harnessing international trade and investment to grow its economy and generate decent jobs and opportunities.
Two of the largest coal-exporting ports in the world were in Wales in the last century and I’ve no doubt that a modern day Freeport could prove equally effective as gateways to high skill and high wage employment and prosperity if they capture the best of the country’s sense of creativity, drive and ambition.
Secretary of State Michael Gove said:
I am delighted that Wales is the latest area in the UK set to benefit from a new Freeport.
The UK government’s ambitious Freeports agenda will help to level up our coastal communities and create new opportunities for people right across the country.
Together with the Welsh Government, I look forward to seeing innovative proposals come forward that demonstrate tangible benefits for the people of Wales.
Wales’ Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said:
Following considerable engagement between our governments, I’m pleased we have been able to reach agreement with UK ministers to establish Freeports in Wales. The agreement we have reached is fair to Wales, and respects the Welsh Government’s responsibilities in devolved policy areas.
However, we have made it clear to the UK government that a Freeport will only be implemented if it can be demonstrated, using robust evidence and analysis, that it will support our fair work agenda and deliver long-term, sustainable benefits for Wales, and value for money for Welsh taxpayers.
“I very much hope that the UK government’s willingness to work with the Welsh Government as equals on Freeports can provide a positive model for future co-operation between our governments on other initiatives.”
Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said:
As part of our plan to level up communities across the UK, Freeports have the power to be truly transformational.
By creating thousands of local jobs and driving investment across the wider economy, Freeports bring benefits and opportunities to communities that need it most.
This is a hugely exciting announcement for Wales and I look forward to seeing bids from as many potential sites as possible.
The governments have jointly agreed that they would be prepared to consider the case for a further additional Freeport in Wales, if a truly exceptional proposal were presented at the bidding stage. The funding arrangements for an additional Freeport in Wales would be subject to negotiation between the governments.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
This fantastic multi-million pound agreement will ensure that Welsh communities secure the benefits of our world-leading Freeports offer – creating jobs, driving innovation and boosting business investment as we level up opportunity to every corner of the UK.
Freeports will be hubs for international trade, innovation and commerce, regenerating communities by attracting new businesses, spreading jobs, investment and opportunity to towns and cities across the UK.
This agreement builds on UK government’s ambitious long-term plan to spread opportunity more equally across the whole of the UK, as set out in the Levelling Up White Paper.
As part of this, Wales has received £121 million through the Levelling Up Fund, £46 million through the Community Renewal Fund and £464,258 from the Community Ownership Fund.
In further plans to level up the UK, work continues towards plans that would see a new Freeport delivered in Northern Ireland.
Further information will be made available and engagement with interested parties will take place ahead of publication of the prospectus.
Freeports are special areas within the UK’s borders where different economic and customs regulations apply. Freeports are sites centred around one or a combination of air, rail, or seaport, within an encompassing outer boundary. See more information on Freeports.
The location of 8 Freeports in England was previously announced by the UK government.
Read the letters from Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove and Welsh Government Minister for Economy Vaughan Gething setting out their agreement to establish a new Freeport in Wales.
See the government’s landmark Levelling Up White Paper.
Latest News from
Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
Scheme for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to be expanded07/12/2017 19:08:05
Home Office's National Transfer Scheme to be rolled out to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Cabinet ministers see levelling up in action at Airbus factory15/08/2022 15:24:00
The Prime Minister, Chancellor and Secretary of State for Wales visit Airbus in Broughton to meet apprentices and see work being done to boost jobs.
Welsh Secretary meets apprentices working on ultrafast broadband11/08/2022 10:05:00
Welsh Secretary Robert Buckland visits communication firm Openreach’s National Learning Centre for Wales to see training for new recruits.
Wales Office Minister visits Swansea Bay City Deal project site, Pentre Awel29/07/2022 16:05:00
Council leaders welcome David Davies MP to Llanelli’s Pentre Awel site before autumn start date.
First North Wales Growth Deal project launched at university26/07/2022 16:25:00
The Digital Signal Processing Centre is one of many projects receiving funding from the Deal.
Welsh Secretary sees luxury car roll off production line at Aston Martin13/05/2022 14:38:00
The world’s most powerful luxury SUV is being manufactured in Wales and shipped to more than 50 countries across the globe.
Communities in Wales handed control of £585 million to level up in Wales14/04/2022 09:25:00
UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) delivers on UK Government’s commitment to match EU funding in Wales
Welsh Secretary Visits USA to Boost Trade and Investment05/04/2022 15:25:00
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart's itinerary includes meeting business representatives, political figures and a visit to a nuclear power plant.