March 21, 2023 5.00 pm This story is over 7 months old

Treasury moves forward with Humber Freeport plan

After first being announced in the 2021 Budget

The Humber Freeport, which would create 7000 jobs in the region, is moving closer after the final business case was approved by the Treasury.

The Humber was granted Freeport status back in April 2021’s Budget announcement, chosen as one of just eight UK areas to have special trading zones with lower tariffs to attract investment to the area.

These special trading zones include Associated British Ports’ sites in Grimsby, Goole, Immingham and Hull, as well as British Steel in Scunthorpe and multiple other Hull locations.

North East Lincolnshire Council announced it would be fronting the project as “lead authority and accountable body”, as well as a main point of contact for the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government.

It is hoped to create 7,000 jobs and create a global gateway into the UK from the Humber region.

Now, after two years of negotiations, the final business case for the Humber Freeport seems to have been approved by the Treasury, as per the Chief Secretary.

Martin Vickers is the Conservative MP for Cleethorpes.

A question was raised in the House of Commons by Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers, who asked the Chief Secretary of the Treasury about the Humber Freeport’s business case status.

In response, John Glen MP said: “The Humber Freeport is already open for business, supporting the regeneration of the region by creating jobs and attracting new business investment.

“I am pleased to confirm the full business case for the Humber Freeport has now been conditionally approved by the Treasury, with full approval being subject to the customs site being designated and the Freeport signing an MOU with the Department for Levelling Up.”

According to Humber Freeport, this announcement paves the way for the Freeport Company’s full setup and allows for the focus to shift back towards the delivery of new jobs and planned investment in the area.

Commenting on today’s news, Humber Freeport Chairman Simon Bird said: “This is excellent news and means that the most important milestone on the journey to delivering new jobs and investment to the Humber has been passed.

“This has been a two and a half year project to get to this stage, involving a partnership of local authorities, business groups and universities.

“We have very exciting times ahead for the Humber area, with a plan to bring at least 7,000 new high-quality jobs and investment for years to come.”

Rob Walsh, Chief Executive of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Today’s excellent news is the culmination of over two years of work involving a large partnership from across the Humber.

“I am delighted that North East Lincolnshire Council, as the accountable body for the Freeport, will now get to play our role in helping to make the new company as efficient and accountable as possible so that it can focus on delivering new jobs and transforming the area.”

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