Humber Freeport launches with plans for 7,000 jobs

Humber Freeport

Humber Freeport has launched with a mission to drive hundreds of millions of pounds of investment and create at least 7,000 new jobs.

The Freeport comprises three defined tax sites – Hull East; Able Marine Energy Park and Immingham, on the south bank of the Humber; and Goole – each of which offers incentives for businesses operating within the zones.

Benefits include land tax relief, business rate relief, enhanced capital allowances and National Insurance contribution relief for employers.

In addition, a new customs zone which has been created at Grimsby will help unlock growth in the car handling and storage sector, supporting the growth of the electric car industry.

Huge opportunities to build on the region’s fast-growing renewable energy industries have already been identified, as well as potential investment in the chemicals, logistics, advanced manufacturing and technology sectors.

Humber Freeport was officially launched at Associated British Ports’ Pump House at Hull’s Alexandra Dock – a stone’s throw from Siemens Gamesa’s wind turbine blade manufacturing facility.

Humber Freeport Chair Simon Bird said: “The Humber Freeport has an outstanding and potentially unique opportunity to be not merely a source for economic growth, but the primary vehicle for the delivery of the Government’s levelling up agenda in the Humber.

“Humber Freeport will seek to secure hundreds of millions of pounds of private sector investment and the final business case conservatively estimates that such investment will create at least 7,000 new, mostly skilled, jobs.

“This investment will have a transformative effect in lifting the prospects of the region.”

Humber Freeport will build on significant ongoing investment in the region, including Pensana’s £150 million rare earth metals processing plant, now under construction, and plans by Meld Energy to invest £180 million in a green hydrogen production facility, both at Saltend Chemicals Park, east of Hull, which sits within the freeport footprint.

At Goole, Siemens Mobility is investing up to £200 million in a rail manufacturing facility, where tube trains for London’s Piccadilly line will be built. The factory is the heart of a growing rail village encompassing manufacturing, servicing and research and development facilities.

Jo Barnes, Managing Director at Sewell Estates, a key partner in the Yorkshire Energy Park, east of Hull, said: “Securing freeport status is a huge opportunity for the Humber. It will significantly raise the profile of the area to potential end users and investors on the global stage.

“We’ve already got early evidence of this at Yorkshire Energy Park, with our site moving forward confidently and early site works planned for later this year in anticipation of construction commencing next year.

“The benefits are not just financial either. It’s been great to see freeport partners working together for mutual benefit, from commercial partnerships to directing end user interest or working with statutory agencies. We can tell a more coherent story about the area’s potential and the freeport can act as a catalyst for solid and sustainable growth.”