Budget freeport announcement to bring thousands of jobs to North Lincolnshire

16:33, Wednesday, 3rd March 2021

Thousands of well-paid, sustainable jobs will be created across North Lincolnshire following the announcement about the development of a Humber freeport.

The announcement was made by Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP in today’s budget, which also included cash to help develop Scunthorpe town centre and fund Able Marine Energy Park (AMEP) at Killingholme.

Freeports are special economic zones with different rules to make it easier and cheaper to do business. They include infrastructure planning, customs and favourable duties and taxes.

Cllr Rob Waltham, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, is co-chair of the steerco which submitted the bid and chair of the Humber Leader’s Board.

He said: “I am delighted that we have been selected as one area in only eight across the country to be awarded freeport status. This will make North Lincolnshire a global gateway for trade and investment.

“We have worked hard with the area’s MPs and businesses to deliver this for the area and it is a fantastic show of confidence in North Lincolnshire and its people.

“This will help us recover and renew by delivering sustainable well-paid jobs and attract more wealth-creators to the region.”

Freeport status will provide greater security for the future of steel making in Scunthorpe as British Steel is allocated as a special “customs” site which will create the conditions to develop a greater competitive edge in global markets by reducing tariffs.

It will offer the area the opportunity to develop three types of sites within the designated freeport boundary – customs, tax and seed capital.

The first two are designed to attract new businesses and encourage existing companies to invest in equipment, machinery and people and give them a competitive edge over rivals across the world by slashing tariffs.

The seed capital sites will allow for business rates on new developments to be pooled locally and used to further invest in roads and infrastructure.

The customs sites include British Steel in Scunthorpe, Inter Terminals in Immingham as well as P&O Ferries, IBL Bulk Liquids, AAK International and two UM Group sites in Hull as well as ABP’s ports in Grimsby, Goole, Immingham and Hull.

In a further boost to the local economy, North Lincolnshire has also benefitted as the Able Marine Energy Park – the last deep water port on the river – will be designated as a ‘tax site’ along with the Hull East Cluster and Goole J36 industrial area.

The energy park, through tax site status and Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support Scheme (OWMIS) funding, will deliver a globally significant integrated offshore wind manufacturing cluster and bespoke port facility, ultimately employing 1,600 people.