Bid to create low tax freeport economic zone around East Midlands airport submitted to Government

A bid to create a freeport in the area around East Midlands Airport has been submitted to the Government.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 7:45 pm

Freeports are special economic zones where businesses benefit from different tax, customs and planning arrangements, which proponents claim will create jobs and attract investment.

The Government has pledged to create ten freeports around the country, and Nottinghamshire’s D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has collaborated with its counterpart in Leicestershire, plus councils, universities and businesses, to develop a proposal.

D2N2 chairman Elizabeth Fagan said: “The East Midlands freeport is an integral part of our ambition to transform our region’s social and economic future. We have assembled a compelling bid that will deliver key government policies, support evidence-based local plans, and drive private sector ambition.

The East Midlands Intermodal Park would give the freeport unparalleled transport connections to the rest of the country.
The East Midlands Intermodal Park would give the freeport unparalleled transport connections to the rest of the country.

“Freeport status will capitalise and grow our industrial strengths in advanced manufacturing, automotive and logistics and boost our competitiveness in new green opportunities to create thousands of jobs and provide SME businesses with a fantastic opportunity to develop and prosper.”

She added: “It is a project that can be delivered now, allowing us to build back better from the impacts of Covid-19, to level up the region and regenerate our communities to deliver significant economic green growth.”

As well as the industrial cluster around the airport, the bid also envisions signifcant development around the Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station site in Rushcliffe and the East Midlands Intermodal Park in South Derbyshire.

It outlines an ambition to build on local strengths in advanced manufacturing, automotive and logistics and develop an innovation hub for green energy businesses.

Nottinghamshire County Council leader Kay Cutts said: “The East Midlands may be the only inland Freeport in the country, playing a major role in lifting the local economy and attracting investors from all over the world.

“Our team has presented a strong and clear case of how it would boost productivity and growth, and ultimately improve lives.”

Bids will be assessed by a panel of experts next month before a final decision later in the spring.