Deadline passes

Five bidders compete for two green freeports

Freeports offer a number of tax incentives for freight

Five bids to establish two green freeports have been submitted before today’s deadline, each promising to create thousands jobs.

Freeports offer a number of tax advantages and have already stimulated investment in England.

Bids for the Scottish freeports were received from: Aberdeen City & Peterhead, Clyde, Firth of Forth, Opportunity Inverness and Cromarty Firth and Orkney. There were nine initial expressions of interest when the process was announced last year. The four that did not follow through were: Cairnryan, Dundee, Montrose and Shetland.

Commenting on the bidding process and next steps, Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “I’m pleased to see a range of bids come in from across the country to become a Green Freeport.

“We expect green freeports to promote regeneration in the areas selected, create high quality jobs and enhance our decarbonisation plans in the just transition to a net zero economy.

“We will now jointly assess and decide on the winning bids, following the rigorous process set out in the agreed joint prospectus in which each government has an equal say. Further details of the successful applicants will be set out in the coming months.”

The Scottish Government and UK Government have published an agreed joint prospectus setting out in full the criteria for applicants, and a detailed timetable.

There was a delay to setting out the timetable for the Scottish business as Holyrood ministers insisted on additional criteria such as fair work practices.

The two green freeports will benefit from a comprehensive package of support, including:

  • some initial revenue support to establish governance structures and business plans
  • substantial seed capital for land assembly and infrastructure
  • reserved tax reliefs in respect of capital, land and structures
  • employer National Insurance reliefs
  • customs easements
  • devolved tax reliefs in respect of non-domestic rates and land and buildings transaction tax
  • a local non-domestic rates retention scheme

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